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AUDREY. WilbU 

PRISONERS OF HOPE. With Froiiluiii«c. 

TO HAVE AND TO HOUD. Wllh t lUmtn- 
liou bj Hdwas 
A. W. Brrn> ud Xhlw McCCihneli. 



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GAZED WITH WIDE-OPEN EVES AT THE INTRUDER {page >g6) 



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AUDREY 



MAKY JOHNSTfflJ 

AUTBOB OF •■ TO HAV« iWl TO HOLD " A 



BOSTON AND NBW TOBK 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 
1902 



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Puiiithid Fehmary, igoa 



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ELOIBE, AmfE, AND ELIZABETH 



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L Tea Cabix nt thr Vallkt . , . 
XL Tua Court ot thb Okfhan . 

UL Dabobm's Am>BKT 

IV. Tai BoU> TO WlLLUIUBIIBOH . 

T. Tax SroBKKKxntft 

YL Mabtxb akd Mah 

TIL Tbb Rbtitbm cm HoMBmra Jhab Hitoov 
TUL Umdbr the Orbbnwood Tkbk . 
IX. MaoI.bas to thr Kbsour 
X. Hawaks and Etrltw .... 

XL AtTDBBT or TBB OaRDKB 

XIL The Portrait or a GxirTLRitAN 
XUL A Sabbath Day's Jocrkkt . 
XIV. The Bbmd ih the Boad .... 

XV. HUOOH SPRAKS HI8 MlMD 

XVI. Adukri and Evrltn 

XVIL Within thr Platbodbr . . . 

SVHL A QoRnroii or Colors .... 
XIX. The Oovrbnor's Bau, .... 
XX, Thr Ukihvitbd Qoest .... 

XXL ArSBET AWAKES 

XXIL Bt ths Eiyrbbidb 

XXIIL A Dure 

XXIV. ACDBET COHZS TO WEBTOVRR 

XXV. Two Womuf 

XXVL Sabctwart 

XXVn. The Missioh or Tbdrlove . 

XXVUL Tbb Putrr 

XXIX. Amor vikoit 

XXX. Thr I^abt Act 



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Gazed with widb-opbm kybs at thb dttbudeb (page 106) 
fVoRjiipteoe 
"Has <ou loved mx — I had been happt" 

AUDBXr LIFT BEB WABHIKO TO BS SFOKBX BY M&OLbUI 
" I DO MOT TBIHK I HATE THB HOVOR 
HkK DABK BTEB HADE APPEAL 

"Jeav! Jeah Hti<M»<l" 



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AUDREY 



THE CABDf m THE TALLXT 

The Talley lay like a ribbon thrown into tbe midst 
of the encompassing hills. The grass which grew 
there was soft and fine and abundant ; the trees which 
■praDg from its dark, rich monid were tall and great 
of girth. A bright stream flashed through it, and the 
sunshine fell warm upon the grass and changed the 
tasaels of the maize into golden plumes. Abore 
the Talley, east and north and south, rose the bills, 
clad in living green, mantled with the purpling grape, 
wreathed mom and eve with trailing mist. To the 
westward were the mountains, and they dwelt apart in 
a blue haze. Only in the morning, if the miat were 
not there, the sunrise strucb upon their long summits, 
and in the evening they stood out, high and black and 
fearful, ag^nst the splendid sky. The child who 
played beside the cabin door often watched them as 
the valley filled with shadows, and thought of them 
M a great wall between her and some land of the 
fairies which mnst needs lie beyond that barrier, be- 
neath the splendor and the evening star. The Indians 
oalled them the Endless Mountains, and the child 
never doubted that they ran across the world and 
touched the floor of heaven. 



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In'tbB-han^pf thplvbman who waa spinnitig tlie 
tlireadliroke, add t]ieBong4^iii m thewlute tliroat of 
tW'gv^-ti^iX ^tood in t^^dJ>QTway. For a moment the 
two gazed with widening eyes into the green Septem- 
ber world without the cabin ; then the woman sprang 
to her feet, tore from the wall a bom, and, running to 
the door, woond it lastily. The echoes from the hills 
had not died when a man and a boy, the one bearing 
a musket, the other an axe, borat from the shadow of 
the forest, and at a mn crossed the greensward and the 
field of maize between them and the women. The 
child let fall her pine cones and pebbles, and fled to 
her mother, to cling to her skirts, and look with brown, 
frightened eyes for the wonder that should foUow the 
winding of ihe horn. Only twice could she remember 
that clear summons for her father : once when it was 
winter and snow was on the ground, and a great wolf, 
gaunt and bold, had fallen upon their sheep; and 
once when a drunken trader from Germanna, with a 
Famtmkey who bad tasted of the trader's rum, had 
not waited for an invitation before entering the cabin. 
It was not winter now, and there was no sign of the 
red-faced trader or of the dreadful, capering Indian. 
There was only a sound in the air, a strange noise 
coming to them from the pass between the hills orer 
which rose the sun. 

The man with the musket sent his voice before 
him as be approached the group upon the door^ 
step : " Alee, woman 1 What 's amiss ? I see naught 
wrong ! " 

His wife stepped forward to meet him. " There 'a 
naught to see, William. It 's to bear. There was a 
noise. Molly and I heard it, and then we lost it 
There it is again 1 " 



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THE CABIN IN THE VAUJEY 8 

Froating tbe cabin, beyond the maize field and the 
rich green grass and the placid stream, rose two hills, 
steep and thickly wooded, and between them ran a 
narrow, winding, and rocky pass. Down this gorge, 
to Uie listening pioneer, now came a coDfused and 
trampling sound. 

" It is iron striking gainst the rocks I " he an- 
nonnced. " The hoofs of horses " — 

*' Iron I '* cried his wife. " The horses in Vii^nia 
go nnshodl And what should a troop of horse do 
here, beyond the frontier, wbpie even the rangers 
never come ? " 

The man shook his head, a frown of perplexity 
apott bis bronzed and bearded face. " It is the Bouod 
of the hoofs of horses," he said, " and they are coming 
through the pass. Hark I " 

A trumpet blew, and there came a noise of laugh- 
ter. The child pressed close to her brother's side. 
** Oh, Robin, maybe 't is the fairies 1 " 

Out from the gloom of the pass into the sunshine of 
the valley, splafjbing through the stream, trampling 
the long grass, laughing, and calling one rider to tbe 
otiier, burst a company of fifty horsemen. The tmm> 
pet blew again, and the entire party, drawing rein, 
stared at the unexpected mtuze field, tbe cabin, and 
the people about the door. 

Between the intruders and the lonely folk, whose 
nearest neighbors were twenty miles away, was only a 
strip of sunny grass, dotted over with the stumps of 
trees that had been felled lest they afford cover for 
attacking savages. A man, riding at the head of the 
invading party, beckoned, somewhat imperiously, to 
the pioneer : and the latter, still with his musket in 
tiie hollow of his arm, strode across the greensward. 



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4 ACDBET 

and finding himself in the midst, not of rude traders 
and r&ngers, but of easy, smiling, periwigged gentle- 
men, handsomely dressed and aocontred, dropped the 
butt of his gun upon the ground, and took off his 
squirrel-skin cap. 

" You are deep in the -wildemees, good fellow," said 
the man who had beckoned, and who was possessed of 
a stately figure, a martial countenance, and an air of 
great authority. " How far is it to the mountains?" 

The pioneer stared at tbe long blue range, cloudlike 
in the distance. " I don't know," he answered. *' I 
hont to the eastward. Twenty miles, maybe. You 're 
never going to climb them?" 

" We are come out expressly to do so," answered 
the other heartily, " having a mind to drink the King's 
health with our heads in the clouds I We need an- 
other axeman to clear away the fallen trees and break 
the nets of grapevine. Wilt go along amongst our 
rangers yonder, and earn a pistole and undying 
fame ? " 

Tbe woodsman looked &om the knot of gentlemen 
to the troop of hardy rangers, who, with a dozen ebony 
servants and four Meherria Indians, made up the 
company. Under charge of the slaves were a number 
of packhorses. Thrown across one was a noble deer ; 
a second bore a brace of wild turkeys and a two-year- 
old bear, fat and tender; a third had a legion of pots 
and pans for the cooking of the woodland cbeer ; while 
the burden of several others promised heart's content 
of good liquor. From the entire troop breathed a 
most enticing air of gay daring and good-fellowship. 
The gentlemen were young and of cheerful counte- 
nances ; the rangers in the rear sat their horses and 
whistled to the woodpeckers in the sugar-trees ; the 



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THE CABIN IN THE TALLET 8 

negroes grinaed broadly ; even the lodians appeared 
a shade lees satarnine than nsuaL The golden sun- 
shine poared npon them all, and the blue moantaina 
that no Englisbman had ever passed seemeA for the 
moment as soft and yielding as the cloud that slept 
along their snmmits. And no man knew what might 
be jiiat beyond the mountains : Frenchmen, oertainly, 
and the great lakes and the South Sea ; bot, besides 
these, might there not be gold, glittering stones, new 
birds and beasts and plants, strange seorots of the 
hills ? It was only westward-bo I for a week or two, 
with good company and good drink — 

The woodsman shifted from one foot to the other, 
bat his wife, who had now orossed the grass to his 
side, bad no doubts. 

"Yon '11 not go, William I" she cried. "Remem- 
ber the smoke that yon saw yesterday from the hill- 
top I If the Northern Indians are on the warpath 
gainst the Soutbem, and are passing between us and 
the monntains, there may be straying bands. I 'U not 
let you go I " 

In her eagerness she clasped his arm with her 
bands. She was a comely, buxom dame, and the 
circle on horseback, being for the most part young 
and gallant, and not having seen a woman fcr some 
days, looked kindly npon ber. 

" And so yon saw a smoke, goodwife, and are afrtud 
of roving Indians?" said the gentleman who had 
spoken before. '* That being the ease, yoiir husband 
has our permisaion to stay behind. On my life, 't is 
a shame to ride away and leave you in danger of sneb 
marauders ! " 

" Will your Excellency permit me to Tolunteer for 
gnard duty ?" demanded s young man who had pressed 



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his bone to tbe leader's side. "It's odds, thoagli, 
thA when you return this way yoa '11 find me turned 
Papist. I '11 swear your ExcelleDCy oever saw in 
Flanden carved or painted saint so worthy of your 
prayers as yonder breathing <Hie I " 

The girl Molly had followed her parents, and now 
stood upon a little grassy knoll, surveying with wide 
brown eyes the gay troop before her. A light wind 
was blowing, and it wrapped her dress of tender, 
faded blue around her young limbs, and lifted her 
loosened hair, gilded by the sonsbine into the likeness 
of an anreole. Her face was serious and wondering, 
but fair as a woodland flower. She bad placed her 
hand upon the head of tiie child who was with her, 
clinging to her dress. The green knoll formed a 
pedestal ; behind was the sky, as blue as that of Italy ; 
the two figures might hare been some painted altax 
piece. 

The sprightly company, which had taken for its 
motto " Sio juvat transcendere montes," looked and 
worshiped. There was a moment of silent devoHon, 
broken by one of the gentlemen demanding if 't were 
not time for dinner; another remarked that they 
might go much farther and fare much worse, in re- 
spect of a cool, sweet spot in which to rest during the 
heat of the afternoon ; and a third boldly proposed 
that they go no farther at all that day. Thdr leader 
settled the question by announcing that, Mr. Mason's 
suggestion finding favor in his sight, they would forth- 
with dismount, dine, drink red wine and white, and 
wear out the heat of the day in this sylvan paradise 
until four of the clock, when the trumpet should sound 
for the mount; also, that if the goodwife and her 
daughtw would do them the honor to partake of thor 



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THE CABIN IN THE VALLEY 7 

Tostio fare, tlieir healths should be dnmk in nothing 
less than Bargandy. 

As he spoke he swung himself from the saddle, 
pulled ont his rufBes, and isised his hat. " Ladies, 
permit me," — a wave of his hand toward his esoort, 
who were now also on foot. "Colonel Robertson, 
Captain Clonder, Captain Brooke, Mr, Haward, Mr. 
Beverley, Dr. Robinson, Mr. Fontune, Mr. Todd, 
Mr. Mason, — all of the Tramontane Order. For 
myself, I am Alexander Spotswood, at yoor service." 

The pioneer, standing behind bis wife, plucked her 
by the sleeve. " Eeod, Alee, 't is the Governor him- 
self t Mind yonr manners I " 

Alee, who had been a red-cheeked dairymaid in a 
great house in England, needed oo admonitioD. Her 
curtsy was profound^ and when the Governor took 
her l^ the band and kissed her b^ blooming cheek, 
she curtsied ag^n. Molly, who had no memories i^ 
fine gentlemen and the compkusance whi<^ was their 
due, blushed fire-red at the touch of hb Excellency's 
lips, forgot to cnrtsy, and knew not where to look. 
When, in her confusion, she turned her head aside, 
her eyes met those of the young nian who bad threat- 
ened to turn Papist. He bowed, with his baud upon 
his heart, and she blushed more deeply than before. 

By now every man had demounted, and the valley 
was ringing with the merriment of the jovial crew. 
The negroes led the horses down the stream, lightened 
them of saddle and bridle, and left them tethered to 
saplings beneath which the grass grew long and green. 
The rangers gathered fallen wood, and kindled two 
mighty fires, while the gentlemen of the party threw 
themselves down beside the stream, upon a little grassy 
rise shadowed by a huge sugar-tree. A mound of 



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tnrf, flanked by two spreading roots, was the Grov- 
ernor's chair of state, and Alee and Molly he must 
needs seat beside him. Not one of his gay company 
but seemed an adept in the high-flown compliment of 
the age ; ont of very idleness and the mirUi born of 
that snmmer hour they followed his Excellency's lead, 
and plied the two simple women with all the wordy 
ammunition tliat a tolerable aoqnaintanc« with HSm 
mythology of the ancients and the polite literature of 
tiie present could furnish. The mother and danghter 
did not anderstand the flue epeeches, but liked them 
passing well. In their lonely lives, a little thing made 
conversation for many and many a day. As for these 
golden hoars, — the jingle and clank and mellow 
laughter, the ruffles and gold buttons and flue cloth, 
these gentlemen, young and handsome, friendly-eyed, 
silver-tongued, the taste of wine, the taste of flattery, 
the sunshine that surely was never yet so bright, — 
ten years from now they would still be talking of these 
things, stJU wishing that such a day could come again. 
The negroes were now busy around the fires, and 
soon the cheerful odor of broiling meat rose and 
blended with the fragrance of the forest. The pio- 
neer, hospitably minded, beckoned to the four Meher- 
rins, and hastening with them to the patch of waving 
corn, returned with a goodly lading of plump, green 
ears. A second foraging party, under guidance of 
the boy, brought into the larder of the gentry half a 
dozen noble melons, golden within and without. The 
woman whispered to the child, and the latter ran to 
the cabin, filled her u|^athered skirts with the loaves 
of her mother's baking, and came back to the group 
upon the knoll beneath the sugar-tree. The Gktvemor 
himself took the bread from the little maid, then drew 
her toward him. 



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THE CABIN IN THE VALLEY g 

"Thanks, my pretty one," he said, with a smile 
that for the moment quite dispelled the expression of 
hanghtjaesa which marred an otherwise comely coun- 
tenance. " Come, ^ve me a hias, sweeting, and tell 
me thy name." 

The child looked at him gravely. *' My name is 
Audrey," she answered, " and if yon eat all of onr 
bread we '11 have none for supper." 

The GrOTemor laughed, and kissed the small dark 
face. " I '11 give thee a gold moidore, instead, my 
maid. Odso 1 thou 'rt as dark and wild, almost, as 
was my little Queen of the Saponies that died last 
year. Hast never been away from the mountains, 
chUd?" 

Audrey shook her head, and thought the question 
but a foolish one. The mountains were everywhere. 
Had she not been to the top of the hills, and seen for 
herself that they went from one edge of the world to 
the other ? She was glad to slip from the Governor's 
encircling arm, and from the gay ring beneath the 
sugar-tree ; to take refuge with herself down by the 
water side, and watch the fairy tale from afar off. 

The rangers, with the pioneer and his son for their 
guests, dined beside the Idtchen fire, which they had 
kindled at a respectful distance from the group upon 
the knolL Active, bronzed and daring men, wild 
riders, bold fighters, lovers of the freedom of the 
woods, they sprawled upon the dark earth beneath 
the walnut-trees, laughed and joked, and told old 
tales of hunting or of Indian warfare. The four 
Meberrins ate apart and in stately silence, but the 
grinning negroes must needs endure their hunger until 
their masters should be served. One black detach- 
ment spread before the gentlemen of the expedition a 



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damask cloth ; another placed npon the snowy field 
platters of smoking veniBon and turkey, flanked by 
rockahominy and sea-biscuit, com roasted Indian fash- 
ion, golden melons, and a quantity of wild grapes gath- 
ered from the vines that rioted over the hillside ; while a 
third set down, with due solemnity, a formidable array 
of bottles. There being no chaplain in the party, the 
grace was short. The two captains carved, but every 
man wm his own Ganymede. The wines were good 
and abundant : there was champagne for the King's 
health ; claret in which to plec^ themselves, gay 
stormers of the mountuns ; Burgundy for the oreads 
who were so gracious as to sit beside them, smile npon 
them, taste of their mortal fare. 

Sooth to aay, the oreads were somewhat dazed by 
the company they were keeping, and found the wine 
a more potent brew than the liquid crystal of their 
mountain streams. Bed roses bloomed in Molly's 
cheeks ; her eyes grew stany, and no longer sought the 
ground ; when one of the gentlemen wove a chaplet 
of oak leaves, and with it crowned her loosened hair, 
she laughed, and the sound was so silvery and delight- 
ful that the company laughed with- her. When the 
viands were gone, the negroes drew the cloth, but left 
the wine. When the wine was well-nigh spent, they 
brought to their masters long pipes and japanned 
boxes filled with sweet-scented. The fragrant smoke, 
arising, wrapped the knoll in a bluish haze. A. wind 
had arisen, tempering the blazing sunshine, and mak- 
ing low music up and down the hillsides. The ma- 
ples blossomed into silver, the restless poplar leaves 
danced more and more madly, the hemlocks and great 
white pines waved their broad, dark banners. Above 
the hilltops the s^ was very blue, and the distant 



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THE CABIN IN THE VALLET 11 

heights seemed dream moantains and easy of climbing. 
A soft and pleasing lodoleBoe, bora of the afternotm, 
the Bunliglit, and the red vine, came to dwell in the 
Talley. One of tite company beneath the spreading 
sugar-tree laid his pipe npon the grass, clasped his 
hands behind his head, and, with hie eyes on the azare 
heaven showing between branch and leaf, sang the 
song of Amiens of such another tree in such another 
forest. The voice was manly, strong, and sweet ; the 
rangers quit their talk of war and hunting to listen, 
and the negroes, down by the fire which they had built 
for tbemselTes, laughed for very pleasure. 

When the wine was all dnuiken and the smoke of 
the tobacco quite blown away, a gentleman who seemed 
of a somewhat saturnine disposition, and less suscep- 
tible than his brother adventurers to the charms of 
the wood nymphs, rose, and declared tiiat he would 
go a-fishing in the dark crystal of the stream below. 
His servant brought him hook and line, while the 
grasshoppers in the tall grass served for bait A rock 
jutting over the flood formed a convenient seat, and 
a tulip-tree lent a grateful shade. The fish were 
abnndant and obliging ; the fisherman was happy. 
Three shining trophies had been landed, and he was 
in the act of baiting the hook that should capture the 
fourth, when his eyes chanced to meet the eyes of die 
child Audrey, who had left her covert of purple-ber- 
ried alder, and now stood beside him. Titfaonus, green 
and hale, skipped from between his fingers, and he let 
fall his line to put out a good-natured hand and draw 
the child down to a seat upon the rock. " Wonldst 
like to try thy skill, moppet? " he demanded. 

The child shook her head. " Are you a prince ? " 
she ashed, " and is the grand gentleman with tiie long 
liaii and the purple coat the King ? " 



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Hie fishennan laughed. '* No, little one, I *m 0DI7 
a poor ensign. The gentleman yonder, being the re- 
presentative in Virginia of my Ixtrd of Orkney and 
his Majesty King Geoi^ the First, may somewhat 
smack of royalty. Indeed, there are good Virginians 
who think that were the King himself amongst us he 
could not more thoroughly play my Ixtrd Absolute. 
But he 's only the Governor of Virginia, after all, 
bright eyes." 

" Does he live in a palace, like the King ? My 
father once saw the King's house in a place they call 
London." 

The gentleman laughed again. " Ay, he lives in a 
palace, a red brick palace, sixty feet long and forty 
feet deep, with a bauble on top that 's all afire on 
birth-nights. There are green gardens, too, with wind- 
ing paths, and sometimes pretty ladies walk in them. 
Wouldst like to see all these fine things ? " 

The child nodded. " Ay, that I would ! Who is 
the gentleman that sang, and that now sits by Molly ? 
See 1 with bis hand touching her hair, la he a Gov- 
ernor, too ? " 

The other glanced in the direction of the sugar-tree, 
raised Ma eyebrows, shrugged his shoulders, and re> 
tnmed to his fishing. " That is Mr. Marmaduke 
Haward," he said, " who, having just come into a great 
estate, goes abroad next month to be taught the new- 
est, most genteel mode of squandering it. Dost not 
like his looks, child ? Half the ladies of WUliams- 
burgh are enamored of his heaux peux." 

Audrey made no answer, for just then the trumpet 
blew for the mount, and the fisherman must needs 
draw in and pocket his hook and line. Clear, high, 
and sweet, the ti'iumphant notes pierced the air, and 



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THE CABIN IN THE VALLET 13 

were answered from the hills by a thonsand taivj 
horns. The martial-iniiided Governor wonld pUy 
the soldier in the wilderness ; his little troop of gen- 
tlemen and rangers and ebony servants had oome ont 
well drilled for their tilt against the mountains. The 
echoes were atill ringing, when, with laughter, some 
expenditure of wit, and much cheerful swearing, the 
camp was struck. The packborses were again laden, 
die rangers swung themselves into their saddles, and 
the gentlemen beneath the sugar-tree rose from the 
grass, and tendered their farewells to the oreads. 

Alee roundly hoped that their Honors wonld pass 
that way again upon their return from the high moun- 
tains, and the deepening rose of Molly's cheeks and 
her wistful eyes added weight to her mother's importu- 
nity. The Governor swore that in no great time they 
would dine ^ain in the valley, and his companions 
confirmed the oath. His Excellency, taming to mount 
his borse, found the pioneer at the animal's head. 

" So, honest fellow,'* he exclaimed good-naturedly, 
" yon will not with us to grave your name upon the 
mountun tops ? Let me tell you that you aro giving 
Fame the go-by. To march against the mountains 
and overcome them as though they were so many 
Frenchmen, and then to gaze into the promised land 
beyond — Odso, man, we are as great as were Cortez 
and Fizarro and their crew I We are heroes and pala- 
dins I We are the Knights of " — 

His horse, impatient to be gone, stmck with a ring- 
ing sound an iron-shod boof f^inst a bit of rock. 
" The Knights of the Horseshoe," said the gentleman 
nearest tit» Governor. 

Spotswood uttered a delighted exclamation : " 'Gad, 
Mr. Haward, you 've hit it I Well-nigh the iiist horse- 



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shoes nsed in Virginia — the number we were forced to 
bring along — the sound of the iron against the rocks 
— the Enights of tbe Horseshoe I 'Gad, I'll send to 
London and have little horsesboes — little gold horse- 
shoes — made, and every man of ns shall wear one. 
The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe 1 It bath an 
odd, charming sound, eh, gentlemen ? " 

None of the gentlemen were prepared to deny that 
it was a quaint and pleasing title. Instead, ont of 
very lightness of heart and fantastic humor, they must 
needs have the Burgundy agiun unpacked, that they 
might pledge at onoe all valotons discorerers, his Ex- 
cellency the Governor of Virginia, and their new- 
named order. And when tite wine was drank, tbo 
rangers were drawn up, the muskets were loaded, and 
a volley was fired that brought the echoes crashing 
about their heads. The Governor mounted, the trum- 
pet sounded once more, and the joyous company swept 
down the narrow valley toward the long, blue, distant 



The pioneer, his wife and children, watched them ga 
One of the gentlemen turned in his saddle and waved 
his hand. Alee curtsied, but Molly, at whom he bad 
looked, saw him not, because her eyes were full of 
tears. The company reached and entered a cleft be- 
tween the bills ; a moment, and men and horses were 
lost to sight ; a little longer, and not even a soond 
could be heard. 

It was as though they bad taken the snnBhine with 
them ; for a cloud had come up from the west, and the 
ann was bidden. All at once the valley seemed a som- 
bre and lonely place, and the hills wiUi their whisper- 
ing trees looked menacingly down upon the clearing, 
Uie cabin, and the five simple English folk. T^ 



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THE CABIN IN THE TALLET 16 

gitaj of the day was gone. After a littla more of 
idle staring, the frontiersnuui and his son retnroed to 
their work in the forest, while Aloe and Molly went 
indoors to their spinning, and Audrey sat down npoa 
the doorstep to listen to the hurry of Toioes in the 
trees, and to watch the ever-deepening shadow of Uie 
clood above the valley. 



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CHAPTER n 

THE COUBT OP THE OEPHAN 

An hour before dusk found the company that had 
dined in the valley making their way ap the dry hed 
of a stream, through a gorge which eleft a line of pre- 
oipitous bills. On either hand the bank rose steeply, 
giving no footing for man or beast. The road was a 
difficult one ; for here a tall, fern-crowned rock left 
but a narrow passage between itself and the sha^^ 
hillside, and there smooth and slippery ledges, mount- 
ing one above the other, spanned the way. In places, 
too, the drought had left pools of dark, still water, 
difficult to avoid, and not infrequently the entire parly 
must ooma to a halt while the axemen cleared from 
the path a fallen birch or hemlock. Every man was 
afoot, none oaring to risk a fall upon the rocks or into 
the black, cold water of the pools. The hoofs of the 
horses and the spurs of the men clanked against the 
stones ; bow and then one of the heavily laden pack- 
horses stumbled and was sworn at, and once a warn- 
ing rattle, issuing from a rank growth of fern on the 
hillside, caused a momentary commotion. There was 
no more laughter, or whistling, or calling from the van 
to the rear guard. The way was arduous, and eveiy 
man must watch his footsteps ; moreover, the last rays 
of the sun were gilding the hilltops above them, and 
the level that should form their camping-place must 
be reached before the falling of the night. 



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THE COtlBT OF THE OR^AN 17 

'The aimliglit had all but faded from the heights, 
when one of the company, stumbling over a round and 
mossy look, measured his length upon the groond, 
amid his own oaths at his mishap, and the excla- 
matioos of the man immediately in hie rear, vhose 
pn^reas he had thus nnceremoniously blocked. The 
horse of the fallen man, startled by the dragging at 
the reins, reared and plunged, and in a moment the 
entire column was in disorder. When the frightened 
animals were at last quieted, and the line re-formed, 
the Governor called ont to know who it was that had 
fallen, and whether any damage had been suffered. 

" It was Mr. Haward, sir I " cried two or three ; and 
presently the injured gentleman himself, limping pain- 
fully, and with one side of his fine green coat all stained 
by reason of contact with a bit of muddy ground, ap- 
peared before his Excellency. 

"I have bad a carsed mishap, — saving your pre- 
sence, air," he explained. " The right ankle is, I fear, 
badly sprained. The pain is exquisite, and I know 
not how I am to climb mountains." 

The Governor ntterad an exclamation of concern: 
" Unfortunate I Dr. Sobinson must look to the hurt 
at once." 

" Your Excellency foists my dispate witii Dr. Rob- 
inson as to the dose of Jesuit bark for my servant," 
said the sufferer blandly. "Were I in extremis I 
sboold not apply to him for relief." 

" I '11 lay my life that yon are not in extremis now," 
retorted the doctor. " If ever I saw a man with a 
sprained ankle keep his color so marvelonsly, or heard 
him speak in so composed a tone I The pain must be 
of a very unusual d^;ree indeed I " 

" It is," answered Mr. Haward calmly. " I cannot 



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18 AUDBET 

possibly go on in tMa condition, your Excellency, nor 
can I dieam of allowing my unlucky accident to delay 
this worsliipful company in their ascent of the moun- 
tains. I will therefore take my servant and ride slowly 
back to the cabin which we left this afternoon. r>oubt- 
less the worthy piooeer will give me shelter until my 
foot is healed, and I will rejoin your Excellency upon 
your return through the valley." 

As he spoke, for the greater ease of the injured 
member, he leaned gainst a towering rock. He was 
a handsome youth, with a trick of keeping an unmoved 
countenance under even such a fire of laughter and 
exclamation as greeted his announcement. 

" And for this you would lose the passing of the 
Appalachian Mountains ! " cried Spotswood. " Why, 
man I from those heights we may almost see Lake 
Erie ; may find out how near we are to the French, 
how easily the mountains may be traversed, what pro- 
mise of success should his Majesty determine to plant 
settlements beyond them or to hold the mountain 
passes ! There is service to be done and honor to be 
gained, and you would lag behind because of a wrenched 
ankle ! Zoons, sir ! at Blenheim I charged a whole 
regiment of Frenchmen, with a wound in my breast 
into which you might have thrust your hand I " 

The younger man shrugged his shoulders. "Beg- 
gars may not be choosers," he said coolly. "The 
sunlight is &st fading, and if we would be out of 
this goi^ before nightfall we must make no further 
tarrying. I have your Excellency's permission to 
depart?" 

One of the gentlemen made a low-voiced but audi- 
ble remark to his neighbor, and another hummed a 
line from a love song. The horsea moved impatiently 



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THE COURT OF THE ORPHAN 19 

amongst the loose stones, and the rangers began to mat- 
ter that night wonld be upon them before they reached 
a safer footing. 

" Mr. Haward I Mr. Haward ! " said the GoTenior 
sternly. " It is in my mind that you meditate infiict- 
ing a greater barm than yon have received. Let me 
tell you, sir, if yon think to so repay a eimple-minded 
hospitality " — 

Mr. Haward's eyes narrowed. "I own Colonel 
Spotswood for Governor of Vii^nia," he said, speak* 
ing slowly, as was his wont when he was angry. " His 
office does not, I think, extend farther thui tliat. As 
for these pleasant-mioded gentlemen who are not pro- 
tected by their rank I beg to inform diem Uiat in my 
fall my sword arm suffered no whit" 

Tnming, he beckoned to a negro who had worked 
bis way from the servants in the rear, along the line 
of rangers, to the outskirts of the group of gentlemen 
gathered around the Governor and the injured man. 
" Jnba," he ordered, "draw your horse and mine to 
one side. Your Excellency, may I ^ain remind you 
that it draws toward nightfall, and that this road will 
be no pleasant one to travel in the daric?" 

What he said was true ; moreover, npon the setting 
out of the expedition it had been laughingly ^^reed 
that any gentleman who might find hie spirits dashed 
by the duigers and difficulties of the way should be at 
liberty at any time to turn his back upon Uie moun- 
tains, and his face toward safety and the settlements. 
The Gt)vernor frowned, bit. his lips, but finally burst 
into unwilling laughter. 

" You are a very young genUeman, Mr. Marmadnke 
Haward I " he cried. " Were you a little younger, I 
know what ointment I should prescribe for your hurt. 



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Go your ways with your broken ankle ; but if, when I 
oome again to the cabin in the valley, I find that your 
own injury has not contented you, look to it that I do 
not make you bnild a bridge acrose the bay itself I 
Grentlemeo, Mr. Haward ie bent upon intruBting bis 
cure to other and softer bands than Dr. Bobinson's, 
and the expedition mnst go forward without him. 
We sorrow to lose him from our number, but we 
know better than to reason with — ahem I — a twisted 
ankle. En OKUnt, gentlemen t Mr. Haward, pray 
have a care of yourself. I would advise that the ankle 
be well bandaged, and that you stir not from the chim- 
ney comer " — 

" I dnuik your Excellency for your advice," said Mr. 
Haward imperturbahly, " and will oonsider of taking 
it. I wish your Excellency and these merry gentlemen 
a most complete victory over the mountains, from 
which conquest I will no longer detain yous" 

He bowed as he spoke, and began to move, slowly 
and haltingly, across the width of the rocky way to 
where hie negro stood with the two horses. 

" Mr. Haward ! " called the Governor. 

The recreant turned his bead. " Your Excel- 
lency ? " 

" It was the right foot, was it not ? " queried his 
sometime leader. " Ah, I thought bo ! Then it were 
best not to limp with the left." 

Homeric laughter shook the mr; but while Mr. 
Haward laughed not, neither did he frown or blush. 
" I will remember, sir," he said simply, and at once 
began to limp with the proper foot. When he reached 
the bank he turned, and, standing with his arm around 
his horse's neck, watched the company which he had 
so summarily deserted, as it put itself into motion and 



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THE COURT OF THE OREUAV 21 

went slowly past him up its dusky road. The laughter 
and bantering farewells moved him not ; he could at 
will draw a line aronnd himself across which few 
things could step. Not far away the bed of the stream 
turned, and a hillside, dark with hemlock, closed the 
view. He watched the train pass him, reach this 
bend, and disappear. The axemeo and the four Me- 
herrins, the Gtoremor and tiie gentlemen of the Horse- 
shoe, the rangers, the negroes, — all were gone at last 
With that pas^ng, and with the ceasing of the laughter 
and the trampling, came the twilight. A whippoor- 
will began to call, and the wind sighed in the trees. 
Juba, the negro, moved closer to his master; then 
upon an impulse stooped, and lifting above his head a 
great rock, threw it with might into one of the shallow 
pools. The crashing sound broke the spell of the 
loneliness and quiet that had fallen upon the place. 
The white man drew his breath, shrugged hia shoul- 
ders, and turned his horse's head down the way up 
which he had so lately come. 

The cabin in the valley was not three mUes away. 
Down thiB ravine to a level place of pities, through the 
pines to a strip of sassafras and a poisoned field, past 
these into a dark, rich wood of mighty trees linked to- 
gether with the ripening grape, then three low hills, 
then die vaUey and the cabin and a pair of starry eyes. 
It was full moon. Once out from under the stifling 
walls of the ravine, and the silver would tremble 
through the leaves, and show the path beneath. The 
trees, too, that they had blazed, — witi white wood 
pointing to white wood, the backward way should be 
easy. 

The earth, rising sheer in darkness on either hand, 
shnt ia the bed of the stream. la the warm, scented 



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dnsk the loouste shrilled in the trees, and far up the 
gorge the whippoorwill called and called. The air was 
filled with the gold of fireflies, a maze of spangles, now 
darbeniug, now brightenitig, resttesB and bewildering. 
The small, round pools caught the light from the yet 
ffuntly colored sky, and gleamed among the rooks ; 
a star shone out, and a hot wind, heavy with the smell 
of the forest, moved the hemlock boughs and rustled 
in the laurels. 

The white man and the negro, each leading his 
horse, picked their way with caution among the pit- 
falls of the rocky and uaeveQ road. With the passing 
of the Governor and his train a sudden cure bad been 
wrought, for now Haward's step was as firm and 
light as it had been before his fall. The negro looked 
at him once or twice with s puzzled face, but made no 
comment and received no enlightenment. Indeed, so 
difBcult was their way that they were left but scant 
leisure for ^>eech. Moment by moment the darkness 
deepened, and once Haward's horse came to its knees, 
crashing down among the rocks and awakening every 
echo. 

The way, if hard, was short. The hills fell ^rther 
apart, the banks became low and broad, and fair in 
front, between two slender pines, -shone out the great 
round moon. Leaving the bed of the stream, the two 
men entered a pine wood, dim and fragrant and easy 
to thread. The moon rose higher, and the light fdl 
in wide shafts between trees that stood well apart, 
with no vines to grapple one to another or nndeis 
growth to press about their knees. 

There needed no watchfulness: tke ground was 
smooth', the light was fair ; no motion save the pale 
flicker of the fireflies, no sound save the sigh of the 



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THE COURT OF THE ORPHAN 23 

Digbt wind in the boughs that were so high orerhead. 
Master and man, riding slowly and steadily onward 
through a wood that seemed interminably the same, 
oame at last to think of other things than the road 
which they were traveling. Their hands lost grasp 
upon the reins, and their eyes, ceasing to glance now 
here, now there, gazed steadfastly down the gray and 
dreamlike vista before them, and saw no longer bole 
and branch, moonlight and the white scars that the 
axe had made for guidance. The vision of the slave 
was of supper at Qie quarters, of the scraping of the 
fiddle in the red firelight, of the dancing and the 
singing. The white man saw, at first, only a girl's 
face, shy and innocent, — the face of the woodland 
maid who had fired his fancy, who was drawing him 
through the wilderness back to the cabin in the val- 
ley. But after a while, in the gray stillness, he lost 
the face, and suddenly thought, instead, of the stone 
that was to cover his father's grave. The ship that 
was to bring the great, dark, carven slab should be in 
by now ; the day after his return to Williamsburgh 
the stone must be put in place, covering in the green 
sod and that which lay below. Here lieth in the hope 
of a joyful resurrection — 

His mind left the grave in the churchyard at Wil- 
liamsburgb, and visited the great plantation of which 
he was now sole master. There was the house, four- 
square, high-roofed, many- windowed, built of dark red 
brick that glowed behind the veil of the walnuts and 
the oaks. There, too, were the quarters, — the home 
quarter, that at the creek, that on the ridge. Fifty 
white servants, three hundred slaves, — and he was 
the master. The honeysuckles in the garden that had 
been his father's pride, the shining expanse of the 



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a AUDRET 

river, the ship — his ship, the Groldea Rose — that 
was to take him home to England, — he forgot the 
night and the forest, and saw these things qnite 
plainly, l^en he fell to tbinkiDg of London and the 
sweets that he meant to taste, the heady wine of youth 
and life that he meant to drain to the lees. He was 
young ; he could spare the years. One day he would 
come back to Vii^nia, to th^ dim old garden and 
quiet house. His factor would give account, and he 
would settle down in the ted brick house, with the 
tobacco to the north and east, the com to the west, 
and to the south the mighty river, — the river silvered 
by the moon, the river that lay just beyond him, 
gleaming throagh the trees — 

Startled by the sudden tightening of the reins, or 
by the tearing of some frightened thing through the 
canes that beset the low, miry bank, the horse sprang 
aside ; then stood trembling with pricked ears. The 
white man stared at the stream ; turned in his saddle 
and stared at the tree trunks, the patches of moon- 
light, and the impenetrable shadow that closed each 
vista. " The blazed trees ! " he exclaimed at last. 
" How long since we saw one ? " 

The slave shook his head. " Juba forgot to look. 
He was away by a river that he knew." 

*' We have passed from out the pines," eaii 
Haward. " These are oaks. But what is that water, 
and how far we are out of our reckoning the Lord 
only knows I " 

As he spoke he pushed his horse throagh the tall 
reeds to the bank of the stream. Here in the open, 
away from the shadow of the trees, the fall moon had 
changed the night-time into a wonderful, silver day. 
Narrow above and below, the stream widened before 



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THE COTTKT OF THE OBPHAN 26 

him into a fairy basm, rimmed with reeds, unrufBed, 
crystal*«Iear, stiller than a dream. The trees that grew 
upon the farther side were f«nt gray clouds in the 
moonlight, and the gold of the fireflies was very pale. 
From over the water, out of the heart of the moonlit 
wood, came the song of a mockingbird, a tnmultuons 
ecstasy, possessing the air and making elfin the night. 

Haward backed his horse from the reeds to the oak 
beneath which waited the negro. '"Tie plain that 
we have lost our way, Juba," he eaid, with a laugh. 
" If you were an Indian, we should turn and striught- 
way retrace our steps to the blazed trees. Being 
what you are, you are more valuable in the tobaeco 
fields than in the forest. Perhaps this is the stream 
which fiowB by the cabin in the valley. We '11 follow 
it down, and so arrive, at least, at a conclusion." 

They dismounted, and, leading their horses, fol- 
lowed the stream for some distance, to arrive at the 
conclusion that it was not the one beside which they 
had dined that day. When they were certain of this, 
they turned and made their way back to the line of 
reeds which they had broken to mark their starting- 
point. By now the moon was high, and the mocking- 
bird in the wood across the water was singing madly. 
Turning from the still, moonlit sheet, the silent 
reeds, the clear mimtcker in the slumbrous wood, the 
two wayfarers plunged into the darkness beneath the 
spreading branches of the oak-trees. They could not 
have ridden far from the pines ; in a very little while 
they might reach and recognize the path which they 
should tread. 

An hour later, the great trees, oak and chestnut, 
beech and poplar, suddenly gave way to saplings, 
many, close-set^ and overrun with grapevines. So 



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dense was the growth, bo unyielding tihe curtain of 
Yines, that men and horses were brought to a halt as 
before a fortress walL Ag^n they turned, and, skirt- 
ing that stubborn networh, came npon a swamp, where 
leafless trees, white as leprosy, stood up like ghosts 
from the water that gleamed between the lily>pads. 
Leaviog the swamp they climbed a hill, and at the 
summit found only the moon and the stars and a long 
plat«au of sighing grass. Behind them were the 
great mountains ; before them, lesser heights, wooded 
hills, narrow valleys, each like its fellow, each indis- 
tinct and shadowy, with no sign of human tenant. 

Haward gazed at the climbing moon and at the 
wide and universal dimness of the world beneath ; 
then turned to the negro, and pointed to a few low 
trees growing at the eastern end of the plateau. 

" Fasten the horses there, Juba," he s^d. " We 
will wait upon this hilltop until morning. When the 
light comes, we may be able to see the clearing or the 
smoke from the cabin." 

When the horses had been tethered, master and 
man lay down upon the grass. It was so still upon 
the hilltop, and the heavens ptvssed so closely, that 
the slave grew restless and strove to make talk. Fail- 
ing in this, he began to croon a savage, mournful ur, 
and presently, forgettii^ himself, to sing outright. 

" Be quiet ! " ordered his master. " There may be 
Indians abroad." 

The song came to an end as abruptly as it bad 
begun, and the singer, having nothing better to do, 
went fast asleep. His oompanion, more wi^efnl, lay 
with his hands behind his head and his eyes npon the 
splendor of the firmament. Lying so, be could not 
see the valleys nor the looming monntuna. There 



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THE COUBT OF THE ORPHAN 27 

were oaly the dome of the sky, the grass, and himself. 
He stared at the moon, and made pictures of her 
shadowy places ; then fell to thinking of the morrow, 
and of the possibility that after all he might never 
find again the cabin in the valley. While he laughed 
at this supposition, yet be played with it. He was in 
a uiood to think the loss of the trail of the expedition 
no great umtter. The woods were full of game, the 
waters of fisb ; be and Jnba bad only to keep their 
faces to tbe eastward, and a fortnight at most would 
bring them to tbe settlemeuts. But the valleys folded 
among die bills were many ; what if the one he sought 
should still elude him ? What if tbe cabin, the sugar- 
tree, the crystal stream, had sunk from sight, like the 
city in one of Monsieur G^alland's fantastic tales? 
Perhaps they had done eo, — the spot had all the air 
of a bit of fairyland, — and the woodland maid was 
gone to walk with the elves. Well, perchance for her 
it would be better so. And yet it would be pleasant 
if she should climb the hillside now and sit beside 
Mm, with her shy dark eyes and fioating hair. Her 
hair was long and fine, and the wind would lift it ; 
her face was fair, and another than the wind should 
kiss it. Tbe night would not then be so slow in 
going. 

He turned upon his side, and looked along the 
grassy summit to the woods upon the opposite slope 
and to the distant mountains. Dull silver, immuta- 
ble, perpetual, they reared themselves to meet the 
moonbeams. Between him and those stem and 
changeless fronts, pallid as with snows, stretched the 
gray woods. The moon shone very brightly, and 
there was no wind. So imearthly was the quiet of 
the night, so solemn the light, so high and stUl and 



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calm the universe aronud him, that awe fell upon his 
soul. It was well to lie upon the hilltop and guess at 
the riddle of the world ; now dimly to see the meao- 
ii^, now to lose it quite, to wonder, to think of death. 
The easy conaciousness that for him death was scores 
of years away, that he should not meet the spectre 
until the wine was all drunken, the garlands withered, 
and he, the guest, ready to depart, made these specu- 
lations not at all unpleasing. He looked at his hand, 
blanched by the moonlight, lying beside him upon the 
grass, and thought how lihe a dead hand it seemed, 
and what if he could not move it, nor bis body, uor 
could ever rise from the grass, but must lie there 
upon the lonely hilltop in the untrodden wilderness, 
until that which had ridden and hunted and passed so 
buoyantly through life should become but a few dry 
bones, a handful of dust. He was of his time, and 
its lazneas of principle and conduct ; if he held within 
himself the potential scholar, statesman, and philo- 
sopher, there were also the skeptic, the egotist, and 
the libertine. He followed the fashion and disbelieved 
much, but he knew that if he died to-night his soul 
would not stay with his body upon the hilltop. He 
wondered, somewhat grimly, what it would do when 
so much that had clothed it round — pride of life, 
love of pleasure, desire, ambition — should be plucked 
away. Poor soul I Surely it would feel itself some- 
thing shrunken, stripped of warmth, shiveringly bate 
to all the winds of heaven. The radiance of the moon 
usurped the sky, but behind that veil of light the in- 
visible and multitudinous stars were shining. Beyond 
those stars were other stars, beyond those yet others ; 
on and on went the stars, wise men said. Beyond 
them all, what then ? And where was the place of 



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THE COUBT OF THE ORPHAN 20 

the Houl ? What vonld it do ? What heaven or bell 
would it find or make for itself ? GaesBWork all 1 

The ^Iver pomp of the night began to be oppressive 
to him. There was beauty^, but it was a beauty cold 
and distant, infinitely withdrawn from man and his 
concerns. Woods and mountains held aloof, com- 
muning with the stars. They were kindred and of 
one house ; it was man who was alien, a stranger and 
alone. The hilltop oared not that he lay thereon; 
tiie grass would grow as greenly when he was in his 
grave; all his tragedies since time began be m%ht 
reenact there below, and the moantuns would not 
bend to look. 

He flung his arm across his eyes to shut out the 
moonlight, and tried to sleep. Finding the attempt a 
Tiun one, and that the night pressed more and more 
heavily upon him, he sat up with the intention of 
shaking the negro awake, and so providing himself 
with oUier company than his own thoughts. 

His eyes had been upon the mountains, but now, 
with the sudden movement, he faced the eastern hori- 
zon and a long cleft between the hills. Far down 
this opening something was on fire, burning fiercely 
and redly. Some one must have put torch to the 
forest ; and yet it did not bum as trees bum. It was 
like a bonfire ... it was a bonfire in a clearing 1 
There were not woods about it, but a field — and the 
glint of water — 

The n^ro, awakened by foot and voice, sprang up, 
and stood bewildered beside his master. " It is tiie 
Tall^ that we have been seeking, Juba," s^d the latter, 
speaking rapidly and low. " That burning pile is the 
cabin, and 't is like that there are Indians between us 
and it I Leave the horses ; we shall go faster without 



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30 AUDREY 

them. Look to the piiming of your guu, and make 
QO noise. Now!" 

Ba[ndly descending the hill, they threw themselves 
into the woods at its base. Here they ooold not see 
the fire, but now and then, as they ran, they caught 
the glow, far down the lines of trees. Though they 
went swiftly they went warily as well, keeping an eye 
and ear open and muskets ready. But there was no 
sound other than their own quick footfalls npon the 
floor of rotting leaves, or the eager brushing of their 
bodies through occasional undei^;rowth ; no sight but 
the serried trees and the checkered light and shade 
upon the ground. 

They came to the shallow stream that flashed 
through the valley, and crossing it found themselves 
on cleared ground, with only a long strip of com 
between them and what had been a home for English 
folk. It was that no longer: for lack of fuel the 
flames were dying down; there was only a charred 
and smoking pile, out of which leaped here and there 
a red tongue. 

Haward bad expected to hear a noise of savage 
triumph, and to see dark flgures moving about their 
handiwork. There was no noise, and the moonlight 
showed no living being. The night was changelesely 
still and bright; the tragedy had been played, and 
the mountains and the hills and the running water 
had not looked. 

It took but a few minutes to break through Ibe 
rustling com and reach the smouldering logs. Once 
before them, there seemed naught to do but to stand 
and stare at the ruin, until a tongue of flame caught 
upon a piece of uncharred wood, and showed them 
the body of the pioneer lying at a little distance from 



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THE COUKT OF THE OEPHAH 31 

the stone that bad formed hU doorstep. At a sign 
from Haward the negro went and turned it over, then 
let it sink again into the seared grass. " Two arrowi, 
Marse Duke," he said, coming back to the other'i 
side. "An* they \e taken his soalp." 

Three times Haward made the round of the yet 
burning heap. Was it only ruined and fallen walls, 
or was it a funeral pyre as well ? To know, he must 
wait for the day and until the fire had burned itself 
out. If the former were the ease, if the dead man 
alone kept the valley, then now, through the forest 
and the moonlight, oaptives were being haled to some 
Indian village, and to a fate more terrible than that 
of the man who lay there upon the grass with an 
arrow through his heart. 

If the girl were still alive, yet was she dead to him. 
He was no Quixote to tilt with windmills. Had fc 
way to rescue her hin. fair before him, he would have 
risked his life without a thought. But the woods 
were deep and pathless, and only an Indian could find 
and keep a tr^l by night. To challenge the wilder- 
ness ; to strike blindly at the forest, now here, now 
there; to dare all, and know that it was hopeless 
daring, — a madman might do this for love. But it 
was only Haward'a fancy that had been touched, imd 
if he lacked not courage, neither did he lack a certain 
cool good sense which divided for him the possible 
from that which was imposuble, and therefore not to 
be undertaken. 

Turning from the ruin, he walked across the tram- 
pled sward to the sugar-tree in whose shade, in the 
golden afternoon, he had sung to his companions and 
to a simple girl Idle and liappy and far from harm 
had the valley seemed. 



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No euemj 
Bat wintei and rough weatlieT.'' 

Suddenly he found that lie was tiremblitig, and that 
a sensation of faintness and of dull and sick revolt 
against all things under the stars was upon him. Sit- 
ting down in the shadow of the tree, he rested his face 
in his hands and shut his eyes, pref erriug the darkness 
within to that outer night which hid not and oared 
not, whioh was so coldly at peace. He was young, 
and though stories of snch dismal things as that before 
him were part of the stock in trade of every ancient, 
garmlous man or woman of his acquaintance, they 
had been for him hut tales; not horrible truths to 
stare him in the face. He had seen his father die ; 
but he had died in his bed, and like one who went to 
sleep. 

The negro bad followed him, and now stood with 
his eyes upon the dying flames, muttering to himself 
some heathenish charm. When it was ended, he 
looked about him uneasily for a time ; then bent and 
plucked his master by the sleeve. "We cyam* do 
nothin' here, Marse Duke," he whispered. " An' the 
wolves may get the horses." 

With a laugh and a groan, the young man rose to 
his feet " That is true, Jnba," he said. " It 's all 
over here, — we were too late. And it 's not a plea- 
sant place to lie awake in, waiting for the morning. 
We '11 go back to the hilltop." 

Leaving the tree, they struck across the grass and 
entered the strip of com. Something low and dark 
that had lain upon the gronnd started up before them, 
and ran down the narrow way between the stalks. 
Haward made ^ter it and caoght it 



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THE COUBT OF TH£ OBFHAN 33 

"Child!" he cried. " Where are the others?" 

The child had struggled for a momeut, desperately 
if weakly, but at the soand of his voice she lay still in 
his graBp, with her eyes upon bis face. In the moon- 
light each could see the other quite plainly. Baisiog 
her in bis arms, Haward bore her to the brink of the 
stream, laved her face and chafed the small, cold 
hands. 

" Xow tell me, Audrey," he said at last. " Audr^ 
is your name, is n't it ? Cry, if yon like, t^iild, but 
try to t«ll me." 

Audrey did not cry. She was very, very tired, and 
she wanted to go to sleep. "The Indians came," she 
told him in a whisper, with her head upon his breast. 
" We all waked np, and father fired at them through 
the hole in the door. Then they broke the door down, 
and he went outside, and they killed him. Mother 
put me under the bed, and told me to stay there, and 
to make no noise. Then the Indians came in at the 
door, and killed her and Molly and Bobin. I don't 
remember anything after that, — maybe I went to 
sleep. When I was awake ag^ the Indians were 
gone, but there was fire and smoke everywhere. I 
was afraid of the fire, and so I crept from uudet the 
bed, and kissed mother and Molly and Robin, and left 
them lying in the cabin, and came away." 

She sighed with weariness, and the hand with wbicdi 
she put back her dark hair that had fallen over her 
face was ahnost too heavy to lift. "I sat beside 
father and watched the fire," she said. " And then I 
heard you and the black man coming over the stones 
in the stream. I thought that you were Indians, and 
I went and hid in the com," 

Jlex vcHce failed, and her eyelids drooped. In some 



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amde^ Haward watched her breathing, and felt for 
the pulse in the slight brown wrist ; then, satisfied, be 
lifted the light burden, and, nodding to the negro to 
go before, recommenced bis progress to the hill which 
he had left an hour agone. 

It was not far away. He could see the bare summit 
above the treetops, and in a little while they were 
upon its slope. A minute more and they came to the 
clump of treeSi and found the horses in safety. Ha- 
ward paused to take from the roll strapped behind his 
saddle a riding cloak,; then, leaving the negro with 
the horses, climbed to the grassy level. Here he 
spread the cloak upon the ground, and laid the sleep- 
ing child upon it, which done, he stood and looked at 
his new-found charge for a moment; then turning, 
began to pace up and down upon the hilltop. 

It was necessary to decide upon a course of action. 
They had the horses, the two muskets, powder and 
shot. The earth was dry and warm, and the skies 
were cloudless. Was it best to push on to Germanna, 
or was it best to wait down there in the valley for the 
return of the Governor and his party ? They would 
come that way, that was cert^n, and would look to 
find him there. If tbey found only the ruined cabin, 
they might think him dead or taken by the Indians, 
and an attempt to seek him, as dangerous, perhaps, &s 
fruitless, might be made. He decided that he would 
wait To-morrow he would take Juba and the horses 
and the child and go down into the valley ; not back 
to the sugar-tree and that yet smoulderiug pyre, but 
to the woods on this side of the stream. 

This plan thought out, he went and took his seat 
beside the child. She was moaning in her sleep, and 



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THE COUBT OF THE ORPHAN 35 

he bent over and soothed her. When she was quiet 
he Btill kept her hand in his, as he sat there waiting 
for the dawn. He gave the child small thought. To- 
gether be and Juba must care for her nntil they could 
rejoin the expedition ; then the Grovemor, who was so 
fond of children, might take her in baud, and give 
her for nurse old Dominick, who was as gentle as 
a woman. Once at Geimanna perhaps some scolding 
Bizusfrau would take her, for the sake of the scmb- 
bing and lifting to be gotten out of those small hands 
and that slender frame. If not, she must on to Wil- 
liamsbnrgh and the keeping of the vestry there. The 
next Orphan Court would bind her to some master or 
mistress who might (or might not) be kind to her, and 
so there would be an end to the matter. 

The day was breaking. Moon and stars were gone, 
and the east was dull pink, like faded roses. A rib- 
bon of silver mist, marking the course of the stream 
below, drew itself like a serpent throi^h the woods 
that were changing from gray to green. The dank 
smell of early morning rose from the dew-drenched 
earth, and in the countless trees of the forest the birds 
began to sing. 

A word or phrase which is as ooounon and familiar 
as our hand may, in some one minute of time, take on 
a significance aoA present a face so keen and strange 
that it is as if we had never met it before. An 
Orphan Court I Agsda he said the words to himself, 
and then aloud. No doubt the law did its best for 
the fatherless and motherless, for such waifs and 
strays as that whiob lay beside him. When it bound 
out children, it was most emphatic that they should 
be fed and clothed and taught ; not starved or beaten 



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nodoly, or let to grow np ignorant as n^roes. Some- 
timee the law was obeyed, sometimeB not 

The roses in the east bloomed again, and the piuh 
of their petals melted into the clear blue of the upper 
skies. Secause their beau^ compelled him Haward 
looked at the heavens. The Court of the Orphan ! 
. . . When my /other and my moth^ forsake me, the 
Lord taketh me up. Haward acknowledged with 
surprise that portionB of the Psalter did somehow stick 
in the memorj. 

The face of the oh^Id was dark and thin, bat the 
eyes were large and there was promise in the mouth. 
It was a pity — 

He looked at her again, and suddenly resolved that 
he, Marmaduke Haward, would jnoTide for her future. 
When they met once more, he shonld tell the Governor 
and his brother adventurers as much ; and if they 
ohose to laugh, why, let them do so ! He would take 
the child to Williamsbui^h with him, and get some 
woman to tend her until he could find kind and decent 
folk with whom to bestow her. There were the new 
minister of Fair View parish and his wife, — they 
might do. He would give them two thousand pounds 
of sweet-scented a year tor the child's maintenance. 
Oh, she should be well cared for I He would — if he 
thought of it — send her gifts from London ; and 
when she was grown, and asked in marriage, he would 
give her tot dowry a hundred acres of land. 

As the strengthening rays of the sun, shining alike 
upon the just tuid the nnjust, warmed his body, so bis 
own benevolence warmed his heart. He knew that 
he was doing a generous thing, and his soul felt in 
tune with the b^uny light, the caroling of the birds, 
the freshneas and fragrance oi the morning. When 



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THE COCBT OP THE OEPHAN 37 

at laet the child awoke, and, the recollection of the 
night coming fuU upon her, olnng to him, weefnng 
and trembling, he put his arm around her and com- 
forted her with all the pet namee his memory could 
conjure up. 



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DAEDEN'B ATJDEET 

It was May Day in Virginia, in the year 1727. In 
England there were George the First, by the grace of 
God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King and 
Defender of the Faith ; my Lord of Orkney, Governor 
in chief of Vii^^iia ; and William Goooh, newly ap- 
pointed Lieutenant Governor. In Virginia there were 
Colonel Robert Carter, President of the Council and 
Governor pro tem. ; the Council itself ; and Mistress 
Martha Jaquelin. 

By virtue of her good looks and sprightliness, the 
position of her father in the community, and the fact 
that this 1st of May was one and the same with her 
sixteenth birthday, young Mistress Jaquelin was May 
Queen in Jamestown. And because her father was a 
worthy gentleman and a gay one, with French blood 
in his veins and Vii^nia hospitality in hb heart, he 
had made a feast for divers of his acquaintaDces, and, 
moreover, had provided, in a grassy meadow down by 
the water side, a noble and seasonable entertainment 
for ihem, and for the handful of townsfolk, and for all 
chance comers. 

Meadow and woodland and marsh, ploughed earth 
and blossoming orchards, lay warm in the sunshine. 
Even the ruined town, fallen from her estate, and be- 
come but as a handmaid to her younger sbter, put a 



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DABDEK'S AUDREY 39 

good face upon her melanclioly fortunes. Honeysookle 
and iry embraced and hid orambling vails, bn^en 
foundations, mounds of brick and rubbish, all the on- 
touohed memorials of the last burning of the place. 
Grass grev in the street, and the silent square was 
strewn with the gold of the buttercups. The houses 
that yet stood and were lived in might have been 
counted on the fingers of one hand, with the thumb 
for the church. But in their gardens the flowers 
bloomed gayly, and the sycamores and mulberries in 
the churchyard were haunts of song. The dead below 
had music, and violets in the blowing grass, and the 
undertone of the river. Perhaps they liked the peace 
of the town that was dead as they were dead ; that, 
like tbem, had seen of the travail of life, and now, 
with shut eyes and folded hands, knew that it was 
vanity. 

But tbe Jaqaelin house was built to the eastward of 
the churchyard and tbe ruins of the town, and, facing 
the sparkling river, squarely turned its back upon the ' 
quiet desolation at the upper end of the island and 
upon the text from Eoclesiastes. 

In the level meadow, around a Maypole gay with gai^ 
lands and with fluttering ribbons, the grass had been 
closely mown, for there were to be foot>races and wrest- 
ling bouts for the amusement of tbe guests. Beneath 
a spreading tree a dozen flddlere put their instruments 
in tune, while behind the open windows of a small, 
ruinous bouse, dwelt in by the sexton, a rustic choir 
was trying over " Tbe Beggar's Daughter of Bednall 
Green." Young men and mwdens of the meaner 
sort, drawn from the surrounding country, from small 
plantation, store and ordinary, mill and ferry, clad in 
their holiday best and prone to laughter, strayed here 



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40 AUDREY 

and there, or, walking up and down the river bank, 
where it commanded a view of both the landing and 
the road, watched for the coming of the gentlefolk. 
Children, too, were not lacking, but rolled amidst the 
buttercups or caught at the ribbons flying from the 
Maypole, while aged folk sat in the sun, and a pro- 
cession of wide-lipped negroes, carrying benches and 
chairs, advanced to the shaven green and put the Beats 
in order about the sylvan stage. It was but nine of 
the clock, and the shadow of the Maypole was long 
upon the grass. Along the slighUy rising groand be. 
hind the meadow stretched an apple orchard in full 
bloom, and between that line of rose and snow and the 
lapping of the tide upon the yellow sands lay, for the 
lengtb of a spring day, the kingdom of aU content. 

The shadow of the Maypole was not much sbrunkea 
when the guests of the house of Jaquelin began to ar- 
rive. First to come, and from farthest away, was Mr. 
Siohard Ambler, of Yorktown, who had ridden from 
that place to Williamsbargh the afternoon before, and 
had that morning used the planter's pace to James- 
town, — his industry being due to the fact that he was 
courting the May Queen's elder sister. Following him 
oame five Lees in a chariot, then a delegation of Bur^ 
wells, then two Digges in a chaise. A Bland and 
a Bassett and a Randolph came on horseback, while a 
barge brought up river a bevy of blooming Carters, a 
white-sailed sloop from Warwick landed adozen Carys, 
great and small, and two perii^as, filled with Harris 
sons. Aliens, and Cockes, shot over from the Surrey 
shore. 

From a stand at one end of the grassy stage, trum- 
pet and drum proclaimed that the company had gath- 
eted beneath the sycamores bef<we the house, and was 



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DASDEirS AITDBET 41 

aboat to enter the meadow. Sbrill-Toiced mothers 
warned their children from the Maypole, the fiddlers 
ceased their twanging, and Pretty Bessee, her name 
oat in twain, died npon the air. The throng of ham- 
ble folk — largely made np of contestants for the 
prizes of the day, and of their friends and kindred — 
scurried to its appointed place, and with the issuing 
from the house gates of the May Queen and her court 
ti» festiTities commenced. 

An hour later, in the midst of a bout at quarterstaff 
between the Jamestown blacksmith and the miller from 
Princess Creek, a coach and four, accompanied by a 
horseman, crossed the neck, roUed through the street, 
and, entering the meadow, drew np a hundred feet 
from the ring of spectators. 

The eyes of the commonalty still hung upon every 
motion of the blacksmith and the miller, but by the 
people of quality the cudgelers were for tbo moment 
quite f oi^t. The bead of the house of Jaquelln hur> 
ried over the grass to the coach door. " Ha, Colonel 
Byrd I When we heard that you were staying over- 
night at Green Spring, we hoped that, being so near, 
you would come to our merrymaking. Mistress Eve- 
lyn, I kiss your hands. Though we can't give you the 
diversions of Spring Ghtrden, yet such as we have are 
at your feet. Mr. Marmadoke Haward, your servant, 
sir I Vii^nia has missed you these ten years and 
more. We were heartily glad to hear, t' other day, 
that the Golden Rose had brought yon home." 

As he spoke the worthy gentleman strove to open 
the coach door ; bat the horseman, to whom the latter 
part of his speech was addressed, and who had now 
dismounted, was beforehand with him. The door 
swung open, and a young lady, of a ddioate and pen- 



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42 AUDRBT 

sive beanty, placed one hand npon the deferential 
arm of Mr. Marmsduke Haward and descended from 
the painted coach to the flowep«nameled Bward. The 
women amongst the assembled guests fluttered and 
vbispered ; for this was youth, beauty, wealth, Lon- 
don, and the Court, all drawn in the person of Mis- 
tress Evelyn Byrd, bred since childhood in the politest 
society of England, newly returned with her father 
to his estate of Weatover in Virginia, and, from her 
garlanded gypsy hat to the point of her silken shoe, 
Buggeative of the rainbow world of mode. 

Her father — alert, vivacious, handsome, with finely 
out lips that were quick to smile, and dark eyes that 
smiled when the lips were still — followed her to the 
earth, shook out his ruffles, and extended his gold 
snuffbox to his good friend Mr. Jaqnelin. The gen- 
tleman who had ridden beside the coach threw the 
reins of hie horse to one of the negroes who had come 
running from the Jaqnelin stables, and, together with 
their host, the three walked across the strip of grass 
to the row of expectant gentry. Down went the town- 
bred lady until the skirt of her blnO'^reen gown lay 
in folds upon the buttercups ; down went the ladies 
opposite in curtsies as profound, if less exquisitely 
graceful. Off came the hats of the gentlemen; the 
bows were of the lowest ; snuffboxes were drawn out, 
handkerchiefs of fine holland flourished; the wel- 
coming speeches were hearty and not unpolished. 

It was a society less provincial than that of more 
than one shire that was nearer to London by a thou- 
sand le^ues. It dwelt upon the banks of the Chesa- 
peake and of great rivers; ships dropped their anchors 
before its very doors. Now and ag^n the planter 
followed his tt^ntcoo aboard. The sands did not then 



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N UABDEITS AUDREY 43 

run 80 awiftly through the hourglass ; if the voyage 
to England was long, why, so was life I The planters 
went, sold their tobacco, — Sweet-scented, E. Dees, 
Orcmoko, Cowpen, Non-baming, — talked with their 
agents, visited their English kindred ; saw the town, 
the opera, and the play, — perhaps, afar off, the King ; 
and returned to Virginia and their plantations with 
the last but one novelty in ideas, manner, and dress. 
Of their sons not a few were educated in English 
schools, while their wives and daughters, if for the 
most part they saw the enchanted ground only through 
the eyes of husband, father, or brother, yet followed 
its fashions, when learned, with religious zeaL In 
Williamsburgh, where all men went on occasion, 
there was polite enough Uving: there were the col- 
lege, the Capitol, and the playhouse ; the palaoe was 
a toy St. James ; the Governors that came and went 
almost as proper gentlemen, fitted to rule over Eng- 
lish people, as if they had been bom in Hanover 
and could not speak their subjects' tongue. 

So it was that the assembly which had risen to 
greet Mr. Jaquelin's latest guests, besides being sufS- 
cientlj well bom, was not at all ill bred, nor unin- 
formed, nor untraveled. But it was not of the gay 
world as were the three whom it welcomed. It had 
spent only months, not years, in England ; it had 
never kissed the King's band ; it did not know Bath 
nor the Wells ; it was innocent of dmms and routs 
and masquerades ; had not even a speaking acqoaint- 
ance with great lords and ladies ; had never sopped 
with Pope, or been grimly smiled upon by the Dean 
of St. Patrick's, or courted by the Earl of Peter- 
borough. It had not, like the elder of the two men, 
studied in the Low Countries, visited the Court of 



3,a,l,^dbvG00gIe 



France, and contracted friendships with men of tlloft- 
trioas names ; nor, like the younger, liad it written a 
play that ran for two wedis, fought a duel in the 
Ficjd of Forty Footsteps, and lost and won at the 
Coooa Tree, between the lighting and snuffing of the 
candles, three thoosand pounds. 

Therefore it stood slightly in awe of the wit and 
manners and fine feathers, corled newest fashion, of 
its sometime friends and neighbors, and its welcome, 
if warm at heart, was stiff as cloth of gold with cere- 
mony. The May Queen tripped in her speech as she 
besought Mistress Evelyn to take the flower-wreathed 
great chair standing proudly forth from the humbler 
seats, and colored charmingly at the lady of fashion's 
smiling shake of the head and few graceful words of 
homage. The yooog men slyly noted the length of the 
Colonel's periwig and the quality of Mr. Hayward's 
Mechlin, while their elders, suddenly lacking mate- 
rial for discourse, made shift to take a deal of snnff. 
The Colonel took matters into his own capable hands. 

" Mr, Jaqnelin, I wish that my tobacco at West- 
over may look as finely a fortnight hence as does yours 
to~day I There promise to be more Frenchmen in my 
fields than Germans at St. James. Mr. Cary, if I 
come to Denliigh when the peaches are ripe, will yon 
teach me to make persico ? Mr. Allen, I bear that 
you breed cocks as courageous as those of Tanagra. 
I shall borrow from yon for a fight that I mean to 
give. Ladies, for how much gold will you sell the 
recipe for that balm of Mecca yon must use? There 
are dames at Ooart would come barefoot to Virginia 
for so dazzling a bloom. Why do you patch only 
upon the Whig side of the face? Are you all of one 
camp, and does not one of yon grow a white rosebush 



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DABDEirS AUDBET IK 

against the 29th of May? May it please yonr Ma- 
jesty the May Queen, I shall watch the sports from 
this seat upon your right hand. £gad, the miller 
quits himself as though he were the moss-grown fel- 
low of Sherwood Forest I " 

The ice had thawed ; and hy die time the victorious 
miUer had been pushed forward to receive the suiart 
cocked hat which was the Vii^nia rendition of the 
crown of wild olive, it had quite melted. Conversa- 
tion became general, and food was found or made for 
laughter. When the twelve fiddlers who succeeded 
the blacksmith and the miller came trooping upon the 
green, they played, one by one, to perhaps as light- 
hearted a company as a May Day ever shone upon. 
All their tunes were gay and lively ones, and tihe 
younger men moved their feet to the music, while a 
StrepboQ at the lower end of the lists seized upon a 
blooming Chloe, and the two began to dance *' as if," 
quoth the Colonel, "the musicians were so many 
tarantula doctors." 

A flower-wreathed instrument of his calling went to 
the player of the sprightliest air; after which award- 
ment, Uie fiddlers, each to the tune of his own choos- 
ing, marched off the green to make room for Pretty 
Bessee, her father the beggar, and her suitors the 
innkeeper, the merchant, the gentleman, and the 
knight. 

The high, quick notes of the song suited the snn- 
shiny weather, the sheen of the river, the azure skies. 
A light wind brought from the orchard a vagrant 
troop of pink and white petals to camp upon the 
silken sleeve of Mistress Evelyn Byrd. The gentle- 
man sitting beside her gathered them up and gave 
them ^lain to the breeze. 



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46 AUDBET 

" It soands sweetly enough," he said, " but tembly 
old-faahioned : — 

'I ir^h not troe Iotb bj the weight at the parm. 
And 1i««iitj U beaut; in eret? degree.' 

That 's Bot Court doctrine." 

Tlie lady to whom he spoke rested her cheek npon 
her band, and looked past the singers to the blos- 
soming slope and the sky above. *' So much the 
worse for the Court," she said. " So much the better 
for" — 

Haward glanced at ber. "For Virginia?" he 
ended, with a smile. " Do you think that they do 
not weigh love with gold here in Virginia, Evelyn? 
It is n't really Aready." 

" So much the better for some place, somewhere," 
she answered quietly. *' I did not say Virginia. In- 
deed, from what travelers like yourself have told me, 
I think the country Ilea not npon this earth. But the 
story is at an end, and we must applaud with the rest. 
It sounded sweetly, after all, — though it was only a 
lying song. What next ? " 

Her father, from bis station beside the May Queen, 
caught the question, and broke the flow of his smiling 
compliments to answer it. " A race between young 
girls, my love, — the lucky fair who proves her de- 
scent from Atalanta to find, not a golden apple, but 
a golden guinea. Here come from the sexton's house 
the pretty light o' heels 1 " 

l^e crowd, gentle and simple, arose, and pushed 
back all benches, stools, and chairs, so as to enlarge 
the circumference of the ring, and the six girls who 
were to run stepped out upon the green. The young- 
est son of the house of Jaquelin checked them off in 
a shrill treble : — 



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DABDEN'S AUDREY 47 

" The blackBmith's Meg — Mall and Jenny from the 
crOBSToads ordinary — the Widow Constance's Bar- 
bara — rod-headed Bess — Parson Darden's Audrey 1 " 

A tail, thin, grave gentlemaD, standing behind 
Haward, gave an impatient jerk of his body and said 
something beneath his breath. Haward looked over 
his shoulder. " Ha, Mr. Le Neve t I did not know 
you were there. I bad the pleasure of hearing you 
read at Williamaburgh last Sunday afternoon, — 
tboagb this is your parish, I believe? What was 
that last name that the youngster cried ? I failed to 
catch it." 

"Audrey, sir," answered the minister of James 
City parish ; " Gideon Darden's Audrey. You oan't 
but have heard of Darden ? A minister of the gos- 
pel of the Lord Jesus Christ, sir ; and a scandal, a 
shame, and a stumbling-block to the Church t A foul- 
mouthed, brawling, learned sot I A stranger to good 
works, but a frequenter of tippling houses ! A bra- 
zen, dissembling, atheistical Demas, who will neither 
let go of the lusts of the flesh nor of his parish, — a 
sveei^«cented parish, sir, with the beet glebe in three 
counties I And he 's inducted, sir, indncted, which is 
more than most of the clergy of Virginia, who neither 
fight nor drink nor swear, can say for themselves I " 

The minister had lost his gravity, and spoke with 
warmth and bitterness. As he paused for breath, 
Mistress Evelyn took her eyes from the group of 
those about to run and opened her fan. " A careless 
father, at least," she said. " If he hath learning, he 
should know better than to set his daughter there." 

"She's not his own, ma'am. She's an orphan, 
bound to Darden and his wife, I suppose. There 's 
some story or other about her, but, not being curious 



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48 AUDRGT 

in Mr. Darden'a affairs, I have Berer learned it. 
When I came to Yirginia, fire years ago, she was a 
slip of a girl of thirteen or so. Once, when I bad 
occasion to visit Darden, she waylaid me in the road 
as I was riding away, and asked me how far it was to 
the mountwns, and if tiiere were Indians between 
diem and ns.'* 

" Did she so ? " asked Haward. " And which is — 
Andrey ? " 

** The dark one — brown as a gypsy — with the 
dogwood in her hair. And mark me, there '11 be 
Darden's own lack and she '11 win. She 's fleeter than 
a greyhound. I 've seen her running in and out and 
to uid fro in the forest like a wild thing." 

Bare of foot and slender ankle, bare of arm and 
shoulder, with bearing bosom, shut lips, and steady 
eyes, each of the six runners awaited the trumpet 
sound that should send her forth like an arrow to the 
goal, and to the shining guinea that lay thereby. The 
spectators ceased to talk and laugh, and bent for- 
ward, watching. W^^rs had been laid, and each 
man kept his eyes npon his favorite, measuring her 
ohances. The trumpet blew, and the race was on. 

When it was over and won, the May Queen rose 
from her seat and crossed the grass to her fine lady 
guest. " There are left only &e prizes for this and 
for the boys' race and for the best dancer. Will you 
not give them, Miatress Evelyn, and so make them of 
more value ? " 

More curtsying, more complimenting, and the gold 
was in Evelyn's white hand. The trumpet blew, the 
drum beat, the fiddlers swung into a quick, staccato 
air, and Dardeo's Audrey, leaving the post which she 
had touched some seconds in advance of the foremost 



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DASDEN'S ADDEEY 40 

of tliose with wliom she had raced, came forward to 
receiTA the ^inea. 

Th« straight, short skirt of dtUl Uoe linen could 
not hide the lines of the young limbs ; beneath the 
thin, white, sleeveless bodice showed the tint of the 
flesh, the rise and fall of the bosom. The bare feet 
trod the grass lightly and firmly ; the brown eyes 
looked from under the dogwood chaplet in a gaze that 
was serious, innocent, and unashamed. To Audrey 
Uiey were only people out of a fairy tale, — all those 
gay folk, dressed in silks and with curled hair. They 
lived in " great houses," and men and women were 
bom to till their fields, to row their boats, to doff 
hats or curtsy as they passed. They were not real ; 
if you pricked them they would not bleed. In the 
mountains that she remembered as a dream there were 
pale masses of bloom far up among the cliffs ; very 
beautiful, but no more to be gained than the moon or 
than rainbow gold. She looked at the May party 
before which she bad been called much as, when a 
child, she had looked at the goi^eons, distant bloom, 
— not without longing, perhaps, but indifEeient, too, 
knowing that it was beyond hw reach. 

When the gold piece was held out to her, she took 
it, having earned it; when the little speech with 
which the lady gave the guinea was ended, she was 
ready with her curtsy and her " Thank you, ma'am." 
The red came into her cheeks because she was not 
nsed to so many eyes upon her, but she did not blush 
tor her bare feet, nor for her dress that had slipped low 
over her shoulder, nor for the fact that she had mn 
her swiftest five times around the Maypole, all for the 
love of a golden guinea, and for mere youth and pure- 
miaded ignorance, and the springtime in the pulses. 



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The gold piece lay withm her brown fingers a 
thonght too lightly, for as she stepped htuik from the 
row of gentlefolk it slid from her hand to the groatid. 
A gentleman, sitting beside the lady who had spdten 
to her, stooped, and picking up the money gave it 
again into her hand. Though she curtsied to him, 
she did not look at him, hut turned away, glad to be 
quit of all the eyes, and in a mouLent had slipped into 
the crowd from which she had come. It was midday, 
and old Israel, the fisherman, who had brought her 
and the Widow Constance's Barbara up the rirer in 
his boat, would be going bach with the tide. She 
was not loath to leave : the green meadow, the gaudy 
Maypole, and the music were good, but the silence on 
the liver, the shadow of the brooding forest, the dart- 
ing of the fish hawk, were better. 

In the meadow the boys' race and the rustic dance 
were soon over. The dinner at the Jaquelin house to 
its guests lasted longer, but it too was hurried ; for in 
the afternoon Mr. Harrison's mare Kelly was to run 
against Major Burwell's Feamaught, and the stakes 
were heavy. 

Not all of the company went from the banquet back 
to the meadow, where the humbler folk, having eaten 
their dinner of bread and meat and ale, were whiling 
away with sports of their own the hour before the 
race. Colonel Byrd had business at Williamsburgh, 
and must reach his lodgings there an hour before 
sunset. His four black horses brought to the door 
the great vermilion-and-cream coach ; an ebony coach- 
man in scarlet crackbd his whip at a couple of negro 
urchins who had kept pace with the vehicle as it lum- 
bered from the stables, and a light brown footman 
flung open the door and lowered the steps. The 



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DABDEITS ADDBET 61 

Colonel, mncli r^;iettitig that occasion should call 
him away, vowed that he had never spent a [deasanter 
May Day, kissed the May Queen's hand, and was 
prodigal of well-tumed compliments, like the gay and 
gallant gentleman that he was. His daughter made 
her graceful adienz in her clear, low, and singularly 
sweet voice, and together they were swallowed np of 
the mammoth coach. Mr. Haward took snuS with 
Mr. Jaquelin ; then, mounting his horse, — it was 
supposed that he too had business in Wiiliamsburgh, 
— raised his hat and bade farewell to the company 
with one low and comprehensive bow. 

The equipage made a wide turn ; the ladies and 
gentlemen upon the Jaqaelin porch fluttered fans 
and handkerchiefs; the Colon^, leaning from the 
coach window, waved his hand ; and the horseman 
lifted his hat the second time. The very especial 
gneets were gone ; and though the remainder of the 
afternoon was as meny as heart could wish, yet a bou- 
quet, a flavor, a tang of the Court and the great world, 
a breath of air that was not colonial, had gone with 
them. For a moment the women stood in a brown 
study, revolving in their minds Mistress Evelyn's 
gypsy hat and the exceeding thinness and fineness of 
her tucker ; white to each of the younger men came, 
linked to the memory of a charming face, a vision of 
many-acred Westover. 

But the trumpet blew, summoning them to the sport 
of the afternoon, and work stopped upon castlea in 
Spain. When a horse-race was on, a meadow in Vir- 
ginia snfBoed. 



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CHAPTER IV 

THE ROAD TO WILLUHSBUBSH 

Aran, had gone out in rain, and though the ann 
now nhone Brightly from a cloudless sky, the streams 
were swollen and the road was heavy. The ponderous 
coach and the four black horses made slow progress. 
The creeping pace, the languid warmth of the after- 
noon, the Bceut of flowering trees, the ceaseless sing* 
ing of redbird, catbird, robin, and thrush, made it 
drowsy in the forest. In the midst of an agreeable 
dissertation upon May Day sports of more ancient 
times the Colonel paused to smother a yawn; and 
iriien he had clone with the clown, the piper, and the 
hobby-horse, he yawned again, this time outright. 

" What with Ludwell's Bui^ndy, piquet, and the 
French peace, we sat late last night My eyes are as 
heavy as the road. Have yon noticed, my dear, how 
bland and dreamy is the air 7 On such an afternoon 
one is content to be in Virginia, and out of the world. 
It is a very land of the Lotophagi, — a lazy oUme that 
Ulysses touched at, my love." 

The equipage slowly climbed an easy ascent, and as 
slowly descended to the level again. The road was 
narrow, and now and then a wild cherry-tree struck 
the coach with a white ann, or a grapevine swung 
through the window a frt^rant trailer. The woods on 
either hand were pale green and silver gray, save 



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THE BOAD TO WILLLUISBDB6H 58 

vhere they ware starred with di^^wood, or where row 
the pink mist of the Jndaa-tree. At the foot oi the 
hill the road skirted a nuuitled pond, choked with 
broad green leaves and the half-submerged trunks of 
fallen trees. Upon these logs, hashing in the sunlight, 
\&j small tortoises b; the score. A snake glided across 
the road in front of the horses, and from a bit of 
muddy ground rose a dond of yellow butterflies. 

The Colonel yawned for the third time, looked at 
his watch, sigh^, lifted his finely arched brows with 
a whimsical smile for his own somnolence ; then, with 
an " I b^ your pardon, my lore," took out a lace 
handkerchief, spread it over his face and head, and, 
crossing his legs, sank back into the capacious comer 
of the coach. In three minutes the placid rise and 
fall of his ruffles bore witness that he slept. 

The horseman, who, riding beside die lowered glass, 
had at intervals conversed with the oocupanta of the 
coach, now glanced from the sleeping gentleman to 
the lady, in whose dark, almond-shaped eyes larked no 
sign of drov^iness. The pond had been passed, and 
before them, between low banks crowned with ferns 
and overshadowed by beech-trees, lay a long stretch 
of shady road. 

Hawsrd drew rein, dismounted, and motioned to 
the coachman to check the horses. When the ooaoh 
had come to a standstill, he opened the door with as 
little creaking as might be, and held ont a petitionary 
hand. "Will you not walk with me a little way, 
Evelyn ?" he asked, speaking in a low voice that he 
might not wake the sleeper. *' It is much pleasanter 
out here, with the birds and the flowers." 

His eyes and the smile npon bis lips added, " and 
with me." From what be had been upon a hilltop, 



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one moonlight nig^t eleven years before, be had be- 
come a somewhat silent, handsome gentleman, com- 
posed in manner, experienced, not unkindly, looking 
abroad from his apportioned mountun crag and soli- 
tary fortress upon men, and the busy ways of men, 
with a tolerant gaze. That to certun of his London 
acquaintance he was simply the well-bred philosopher 
and man of letters; that in the minds of others he 
was associated with the peacock plumage of the world 
of fashion, with die flare of candles, the hot breath of 
gamesters, the ring of gold upon the tables ; that one 
clique had tales to tell of a magnanimona spirit and a 
generous hand, while yet another grew red at men- 
tion of bis name, and put to his credit much that was 
not creditable, was perhaps not strange. He, like his 
neighbors, had many selves, and each in its turn — 
tihe scholar, the man of pleasure, the indtdent, kindly, 
reflective self, the self of pride and cool assurance and 
stubborn will — took its place behind the mask, and 
went through its allotted part. His self of all selves, 
the quiet, remote, crowned, and inscrutable T, eat 
apart, alike curious and indifferent, watched the 
others, and knew how little worth the while was the 
stir in the ant-hill. 

But on a May Day, in the sunshine and the blos- 
soming woods and the company of Mistress Kvelyn 
Byrd, it seemed, for the moment, worth the while. 
At his invitation she had taken his hand and descended 
from the coach. The great, painted thing moved 
slowly forward, bearing the unconscious Colonel, and 
the two pedestrians walked behind it : he with his 
horse's reins over his arm and his hat in his hand ; 
she lifting her silken skirts from contact with the 
ground, and looking, not at her companion, but at the 



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TH£ BOAD TO WILUAMSBDBGH 6S 

greening boughs, and at the sunlight striking upon 
smooth, pale beech trunks and the leaf-strewn earth 
beneath. Out of the woods came a sudden medley o£ 
bird notes, clear, sweet, and inexpressibly joyous. 

" That is a mockingbird," said Haward. " I once 
heard one of a moonlight night, beside a still water " — 

He broke off, and tbey listened in silence. The 
bird flew away, and they came to a brook traversing 
the road, and flowing in wide meanders through the 
forest. There were stepping-stones, and Haward, 
crossing first, turned and held out his hand to the 
lady. When she was upon his side of the streamlet, 
and before he released the slender fingers, he bent 
and kissed them ; then, as there was no answering 
smile or blush, but only a quiet withdrawal of the 
hand and a remark about the crystal deamess of the 
brook, looked at her, with interrogation in his smile. 

" What is that crested bird upon yonder boi^h," 
she asked, — " the one that gave the piercing cry ? " 

"A kingfisher," he answered, "and cousin to the 
halcyon of the ancients. If, when next yon go to sea, 
you ti^e its feathers with you, you need have no fear 
of storms." 

A tree, leafless, but purplish pink with bloom, 
leaned from the bank above them. He broke a branch 
and gave it to her. " It is the Judas-tree," he told 
her. " Iscariot hanged himself thereon." 

Around the tmnk of a beech a lizard ran like a 
green flame, and they heard the distant barking of 
a fox. Laige white butterflies went past them, and a 
hummingbird whirred into the heart of a wild honey- 
suckle that had hasted to bloom. " How different 
from the English forests I " she siud. " I could love 
these best. What are all those broaddeaved plants 
with the white, waxen flowers ? " 



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66 AUDREY 

"May-apples. Some call them mandrakes, but 
tbey do not rise shriebing, nor kill tke wight that 
plucks them. Will yon have me gather them for 
you?" 

"I will not trouble you," she answered, and pre- 
sently turned aside to pull them for herself. 

He looked at the graceful, beudiug fignre and lifted 
his browa ; then, quickening his pace until he was up 
with the coach, be Bpoke to the negro upon the box. 
*' Tyre, drive on to that big pine, and wait there for 
your mistress and me. Sidon," — to the footman, — 
" get down and take my horse. If your master wakes, 
tell him that Mistress Evelyn tired of the coach, and 
that I am picking her a nosegay." 

Tyre and Sidon, Haward's steed, the four black 
eoach horses, the vermilion-and-cream coach, and the 
slumbering Colonel, all made a progress of an hun- 
dred yards to the pine-tree, where the cortege came to 
a halt. Mistress Evelyn looked up from the flower' 
gathering to find the road bare before her, and Haward, 
sitting upon a log, watching her with something be- 
tween a smile and a frown. 

"You think that I, also, weigh true love by the 
weight of the purse," he said. " I do not care over- 
much for your gold, Evelyn." 

She did not answer at once, bat stood with her 
head slightly bent, fingering the waxen flowers with a 
delicate, lingering touch. Now that there was no 
longer the noise of the wheels and the horses' hoofs, 
the forest stillness, which is composed of sound, made 
itself felt. The call of birds, the whir of insects, the 
marmur of the wind in the treetops, low, grave, inces- 
sant, and eternal as the sound of the sea, joined them- 
selves to the slow waves of fragrance, the stretch of 



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THE BOAS TO WILLIAUSBUBGH ff7 

road wbereoQ nothing moved, the sanlight lying on 
the earth, and made a spacioua quiet. 

" I think that there is nothing for which yon care 
overmuch," she B^d at last. "Not for gold or the 
lack of it, not for friende or for enemies, not even for 
yourself." 

" I have known you for many years," he answered. 
" I have watched you grow from a child into a gracious 
and beautiful woman. Do you not think that I care 
for yon, Evelyn ? " 

Near where he sat so many violets were blooming 
that they made a purple carpet for the ground. Go- 
ing over to them, Bhe knelt and began to pluck them. 
"If any danger threatened me," she began, in her 
clear, low voice, " I believe that you would step be- 
tween me and it, though at the peril of your life. I 
believe that you take some pleasnre in what yon are 
pleased to style my beauty, some pride in a mind that 
you have largely formed. If I died early, it would 
grieve you for a little while. I call you my friend." 

" I would be called your lover," he said. 

She l^d her fan upon the ground, heaped it with 
Tiolets, and turned again to her reaping. " How 
might that be," she asked, " when you do not love me ? 
I know that you would marry me. What do the 
French call if, — mariage de convenaiice t " 

Her voice was even, and her head was bent so that 
he could not see her face. In the pause that followed 
her words treetop whispered to treetop, but the sun- 
shine lay very still and bright upon the road and 
upon the flowers by the wayside. 

"There are worse marri^es," Haward said at last. 
Rising from the log, he moved to the side of the 
kneeling fignie. ** Let the violets rest, Evelyn, while 



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B8 AUDREY 

we reason t(^ther. You are too dear-^yed. Since 
they offend you, I will drop the idle compliments, the 
pretty phrases, in which neither of us believes. What 
if this tinted dream of love does not exist for us? 
What if we are only friends — dear and old friends " — 

He stooped, and, taking her by the busy hands, 
made her stand np beside him. *' Cannot we marry 
and still be friends ? " he demanded, with something 
like laoghter in hb eyes. *' My dear, I would strive 
to make you happy ; and happiness is as often found 
in that temperate land where we would dwell as in 
Love's flaming climate." He smiled and tried to find 
her eyes, downcast and hidden in the shadow of her . 
hat, " This is no flowery wooing such as women love," 
he said ; " but then you are like no other woman. 
Always the truth was best with you." 

Upon her wrenching ber bands from his, and sud- 
denly and proudly raising her bead, he was amazed to 
find her white to the lips. 

" The truth I " she sud slowly. " Always the tmtii 
was best I Well, then, take the truth, and afterwards 
and forever and ever leave me alone [ You have been 
frank ; why should not I, who, you say, am like no 
other woman, be so, too ? I will not marry you, be- 
cause — because" — The crimson flowed over her 
face and neck ; then ebbed, leaving her whiter than 
before. She put her hands, that still held the wild 
flowers, to ber breast, and her eyes, dark with pain, 
met his. " Had you loved me," she said proudly and 
quiedy, *' I had been happy." 

Hawaxd stepped backwards until there lay between 
them a strip of sunny earth. The murmur of the 
wind went on and the birds were singing, and yet the 
forest seemed more quiet than death. *' I could not 



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"HAD you LOVED ME-I HAD BEEN HAPPY" 



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THE ROAD TO WttUAMSBDRGH 60 

gaeas," he said, Bpeaking slowly and with his eyes 
upon the ground. " I have spoken like a bmte. I 
beg your pardon." 

" You might have known ! you might have guessed I " 
she cried, with passion. '* But you walk an even way ; 
you choose nor high nor low : you look deep into 
your mind, but your heart you keep cool and vacant. 
Ob, a very temperate land I I think that others less 
wise than you may also be less blind. Never speak 
to me of this day I Let it die as these blooms are 
dying in tbjs hot sunshine ! Now let us walk to the 
coach and waken my father. I have gathered flowers 
enough." 

Side by side, but without speaking, they moved 
from shadow to sunlight, and from sanligbt to shadow, 
down the road to the great pine-tree. The white and 
purple flowers Jay in her hand and along her bended 
arm ; from the folds of her dress, of some rich and 
silken stuff, chameleon-like in its changing colore, 
breathed the subtle fragrance of the perfume then 
most in fashion ; over the thin lawn that half re- 
vealed, half concealed neck and bosom was drawn a 
long and gloBsy curl, earefully let to escape from the 
waved and banded hair beneath the gypsy hat. Ex- 
quisite from head to foot, the figure bad no place in 
the unpruned, nntrained, savage, and primeval beauty 
of those woods. Smooth sward, with jets of water 
and carven nymphs embowered in clipped box or yew, 
should have been its setting, and not this wild and 
tangled growth, this license of bird and beast and 
growing things. And yet the incongruous liot, the con- 
trast of profuse, untended beauty, enhanced the value 
of the picture, gave it piquancy and a completer 
chum. 



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When they were within a few feet of the coach and 
horses and negroes, all drowsing in the sunny road, 
Haward made aa if to speak, hut she stopped him 
with her lifted hand. " Spare me," she be^ed. " It 
is bad enotigh as it is, but words would make it worse. 
If ever a day might come — I do not think that 1 
am unlovely ; I even rate myself so highly as to think 
that I am worthy of your love. If ever the day shall 
come when you can say to me, * Now I see that love 
is no tinted dream ; now I ask you to be my wife in- 
deed,' then, upon that day — But until then ask not 
of me what yon asked hack there among the violets. 
I, too, am proud " — Her voice broke. 

" Evelyn ! " he cried. " Poor child — poor 
friend " — 

She turned her face upon him. " Don't ! *' she sud, 
and her lips were smiling, though her eyes were full 
of tears. " We have forgot that it is May Day, and 
that we must be light of heart. Look how white is 
that dogwood-tree I Break me a bongh for my chim- 
ney-piece at Williamshurgh." 

He brought her a branch of the starry bloBSoms. 
"Did yon notice," she asked, " that the girl who ran — ■ 
Audrey — wore dogwood in her hair ? You could see 
her heart beat with very love of living. She was of 
the woods, like a dryad. Had the prizes been of my 
choosing, she should have had a gift more poetical 
than a guinea." 

Haward opened the coach door, and stood gravely 
aside while she entered the vehicle and took her seat, 
depositing ber flowers npon the cushions beside her. 
The Colonel stirred, uncrossed his legs, yawned, pulled 
the handkerchief from his face, and opened his eyes. 

" Faith [ " he exclaimed, straightening himself, and 



3,a,l,zt!dbvGo6gIe 



THE BOAD TO WILUAMSBUKGH 61 

taking np his radiant tumor where, upon falling 
asleep, he had let it drop. " The way must have sad- 
denly become smooth as a road in Venice, for I Ve 
felt no jolting this half hour. Flowers, Evelyn ? and 
Haward afoot ? Yoa *ve been on a woodland saunter, 
then, while I enacted Solomon's sluggard I " The 
worthy parent's eyes began to twinkle. " What 
flowers did you find ? They have strange blooms 
here, and yet I warrant that even in these woods one 
might come across London pride and none-so-pretty 
and forget-me-not " — 

His daughter smiled, and asked him some idle ques- 
tion about the May-apple and the Judas-tree. The 
master of Westover was a treasure house of sprightly 
lore. Within ten minutes he had visited Palestine, 
paid his compliments to the ancient herbalists, and 
landed again in his own coach, to find in his late audi- 
ence a somewhat distraite daughter and a friend in a 
brown study. The coach was lumbering on toward 
Williamsburgh, and Haward, with level gaze and hand 
closed tightly upon his horse's reins, rode by the win- 
dow, while the lady, sitting in her comer with down- 
oast eyes, fingered the dogwood blooms that were not 
paler than her face. 

The Colonel's wits were keen. One glance, a lift 
of his arched brows, the merest ghost of a smile, and, 
dragging the younger man with him, he plunged into 
politics. Invective gainst a refractory House of 
Burgesses brought them a quarter of a mile upon their 
way; the necessity for an act to encourage adven- 
turers in iron works carried them past a milldam ; 
and frauds in the customs enabled them to reach a 
crossroads ordinary, where the Colonel ordered a halt, 
and called for a tankard of ale. A slipshod, blue- 



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eyed Cheny brought it, and spoke her thanks in broad 
Scotch for the shilling which the gay Colonel flung 
tinkling into the measure. 

That versatile and considerate gentleman, having 
had bis draught, cried to the coachman to go on, and 
was beginning upon the question of tbe militia, when 
Haward, who bad dismounted, appeared at the coach 
door. " I do not think that I will go on to Williams- 
burgh with you, sir," he said. " There 's some trouble- 
some business with myoverseer that ought not to wait. 
If I take this road and the planter's pace, I shall 
reach Fair View by sunset. You do not return to 
Weatover this week ? Then I shall see you at Wil- 
liamsbnrgh within a day or two. Evelyn, good-day." 

Her hand lay upon tbe cushion nearest him. He 
woald have taken it in bis own, as for years he had 
done when he bade her good-by; but though she 
smiled and gave him " Good-day " in ber usual voice, 
she drew the hand away. The Colonel's eyebrows 
went up another fraction of an inch, but he was a dis- 
creet gentleman who had bought experience. Skill- 
fully unobservant, his parting words were at once 
cordial and few in number; and after Haward had 
mounted and had turned into the side road, he put his 
handsome, periwigged head out of the coach window 
and called to him some advice about tbe transplant- 
ing of tobacco. This done, and the horseman out of 
sight, and tbe coach once more upon its leisurely way 
to William sburgh, tbe model father pulled out of bis 
pocket a small book, and, after affectionately advising 
bis daughter to close her eyes and sleep out the miles 
to Williamsburgh, himself retired with Horace to tbe 
Sabine fann. 



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THE 8TOB£K£EPGB 

It was now late afternoon, the aun's rays coming 
slantingly into the forest, and the warmth of the day 
past and gone. To Haward, riding at a gallop 
down the road that was scarce more than a bridle 
path, the rush of the cool air was grateful ; the sharp 
striking of protruding twigs, the violent brushing aside 
of hanging vines, not unwelcome. 

It was of the man that the uppermost feeling in his 
mind was one o£ disgust at hia late infelicity of speech, 
and at the blindness which had prompted it. That he 
had not divined, that he had been so dull as to assume 
that as he felt, or did not feel, so must she, annoyed 
him like the jar of rude noises or like sand blowing 
into &ce and eyes. It was of him, too, that the annoy- 
ance was purely with himself; for her, when at last 
he came to think of her, he found only the old, placid 
afEection, as far removed from love as from hate. If 
be knew himself, it would always be as far removed 
from love as from hate. 

All the days of her youth he had come and gone, a 
welcome guest at her father's house in London. He 
had grown to be her friend, watching the crescent 
beauty of face and mind with something of the pride 
and tenderness which a man might feel for a young 
and favorite sister ; and then, at last, when some turn 



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M AUDREY 

<^ affairs sent them all home to YiTginia to take lot 
and part there, he had thought of marriage. 

His mind had turned, not unwillingly, from the 
town and its apples of Sodom to his Virginia planta- 
tion that he had not seen for more than ten years. It 
was his birthplace, and there he had spent his boy- 
hood. Sometimes, in heated rooms, when the candles 
in the sconces were guttering down, and the dawn 
looked palely in upon gaming tables and heaped gold, 
and seamed faces, haggardly triumphant, haggardly 
despairing, determinedly indifferent, there had come 
to him Tisions of cool dawns upon the river, wide, 
misty expanses of marsh and forest, indistinct and 
cold and pure. The lonely " great house," too, — the 
house which his father had built with so much love 
and pains, that his son and his son's sons should have 
a worthy home, — appealed to him, and the garden, 
and the fishing-boats, and the old slaves in the quar- 
ters. He told himself that he was glad to go back. 

Had men called him ambitions, he would have 
smiled, and felt truly that they had bungled in the 
word. Such and such things were simply his appur- 
tenances ; in London, the regard due to a geutlemao 
who to a certain distinction in his manner of amusing 
himself added the achievement of a successful comedy, 
three lampoons quoted at all London tea-tables, and a 
piece of Whig invective, bo able, stem, and sustained 
that many cried that the Dean had met his match ; in 
Virginia, the deferential esteem of the colony at large, 
a place in the Council, and a great estate. An alli- 
ance with the master of Westover was in itself a 
desirable thing, advantageous to purse and to credit ; 
his house must have a mistress, and that mistress must 
please at every point his fastidions taste. 



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THE STOREKEEPER 65 

What better to do tluut to give it forMistresB Eve- 
lyn Byrd? Evelyn, who had had for all her Baiters 
only a slow smile and shake of the head ; Evelyn, who 
was older than her years ; Evelyn, who was his friend 
as he was hers. Love ! He had left that land be- 
hind, and she had never touched its shores; the geo- 
graphy of the poets to the contrary, it did not lie in 
the coarse of all who passed through life. He made 
his suit, and now he had his answer. 

If he did not take trouble to wonder at her con- 
fession, or to modestly ask himself how he had deserved 
her love, neither did he insult her with pity or with 
any lightness of thought. Nor was he ready to believe 
that his rejection was final Apparently indifferent 
as he was, it was yet his way to move steadily and 
relentlessly, if very quietly, toward what goal he de- 
sired to reach. He thonght that Fair View m^ht yet 
call Evelyn Byrd its mistress. 

Since turning into the crossroad that, running south 
and east, would take him back to the banks of the 
James and to his own house, he had not slackened 
speed, but now, as he saw through the trees before 
him a long zigzag of rail fence, he drew rein. The 
road turned, and a gate barred his way. When he 
had opened it and passed through, he was upon his 
own land. 

He had ridden off his irritation, and could now 
calmly tell himself that the blunder was made and 
over with, and that it was the duty of the philosopher 
to remember it only in so far as it must shape his 
future course. His house of cards had toppled over ; 
but the profound indifferentism of his nature enabled 
him to view the mius with composure. After a while 
he would build the house agun. The image of Evelyn, 



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66 AUSBET 

as she had stood, dark-eyed and pale, with the flowers 
pressed to her bosom, he put from him. He knew 
her strength of soul ; and with the curioaB hardness 
of the strong toward the strong, and also not without 
the delieacy which, upon occasion, he could both feel 
and exhibit, he shut the door upon that hour in the 
forest. 

He had left the woods, and was now riding through 
a field of newly planted tobacco. It and the tobacco 
house in the midst of it were silent, deserted, bathed 
in the late sanshine. The ground rose slightly, and 
when he had mounted with it ho saw below him the 
huddle of cabins which formed the ridge quarter, and 
winding down to it a string of negroes. One turned 
his head, and saw the solitary horseman upon the 
summit of the slope behind him ; another looked, and 
another, until each man in line had bis head over bis 
shoulder. They knew that the horseman was their 
master. Some bad been upon the plantation when he 
was a boy ; others were more recent acquisitions who 
knew not his face ; but alike they grinned and ducked. 
The white man walking beside the line took off his 
hat and pulled a forelock. Haward raised his hand 
that they might know he saw, and rode on. 

Another piece of woods where a great number of 
felled trees cumbered the ground, more tobacco, and 
then, in worn fields where the tobacco had been, knee- 
deep wheat rippling in the evening breeze. The wheat 
ran down to a marsh, and to a wide, slow creek that, 
save in the shadow of its reedy banks, was blue as the 
sky above. Haward, riding slowly beside his green 
fidds and still waters, noted with quiet, half-regretful 
pleasure this or that remembered feature of the land- 
scape. There had been little change. Here, where 



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THE STOREEEEPEB 67 

he remembered deep woods, tobacco was planted; 
there, where the tobacco had been, were now fields of 
wheat or com, or wild tangles of vine-rid saplings and 
brushwood : but for this it might hare been yesterday 
that he had last ridden that way. 

Presently he saw the river, and then the marshes 
with brown dots that were his cattle straying over 
them, and beyond these the home landing and the 
masts of the Golden Rose. The aun was near its 
setting ; the men had left the fieldB ; over all things 
were the stillness and peace, the encroaching shadows, 
the dwindling light, so golden in its quality, of late 
afternoon. When he CFoesed the bridge over the 
creek, the hollow Boond that the boards gave forth 
beneath his horse's hoofs had the depth and resonance 
of dmmbeats, and the cry of a solitary heron in the 
marsh seemed louder than its wont. He passed the 
rolling-honBe and drew near to the river, riding again 
through tobacco. These plants were Oronoho ; the 
mild sweet-scented took the higher ground. Along 
the river bank grew a row of tall and stately trees : 
passing beneath them, he saw the shining water be- 
tween brown columns or through a veil of slight, 
unfolding leaves. Soon the trees fell away, and he 
came to a stretch of bank, — here naked earth, there 
clad in grass and dewberry vines. Near by was a 
small landing, with several boats fastraied to its piles ; 
and at a little distance beyond it, shadowed by a 
looust-tree, a strongly built, two-roomed wooden house, 
with the earth around it trodden hard and bare, 
and with two or three benches before its open door. 
Haward recognized the store which his father — 
after the manner of his kind, merchant and trader as 
well as planter and maker of laws — had bailt, and 



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es AUDBET 

vhioli, through his agent in Yii^nia, he had mun- 
tained. 

Before one of the benches a man was kneeling with 
his back to Haward, who could only see that his garb 
was that of a servant, and that his hands were busily 
moTing certain small objects this way and that upon 
the board. At the edge of the space of bare earth 
were a horse-block and a hitdiing-post. Hawu^ rode 
np to them, dismounted, and fastened his horse, then 
walked over to the man at the bench. 

So intent was the latter upon his employment that 
be heard neither horse nor rider. He had some shells, 
a few bits of turf, and a double handful of sand, and 
he was arranging these trifles upon the rough, un- 
pMOted boards in a curious and intricate pattern. He 
was a tall man, with hair that was more red than 
brown, and he was dressed in a shirt of dowlas, 
leather breeohes, and coarse plantation-made shoes 
and stockings. 

" What are you doing ? " asked Haward, after a 
moment's silent watching of the busy fingers and in- 
tent countenance. 

There was no start of awakened consciousness upon 
the other's part. *' Why," he said, as if he had asked 
the question of himself, "with this sand I have traced 
the shores of Looh-na-Keal. This turf ts green Ulva, 
and this is Gometra, and the shell is Little Colonsay. 
With this wet sand I have moulded Ben Grieg, and 
this higher pile is Ben More. If I had but a sprig of 
heather, now, or a pebble from the shore of Sen- 
dain!" 

The yoioe, while haxsb, was not disagreeably so, 
and neither the words nor the manner of using them 
smacked of the matao. 



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THE STOREKEEPER 60 

" And where are Loch-na-Keal and Ulva and Son- 
dain ? " demanded Haward. " Somewliere in North 
Britain, I presume? " 

The second qnestion broke the spelL The man 
glanced over his shoulder, saw that be was not alone, 
and with one sweep of bis hand blotting loob and 
island and moontain out of existence, rose to bis feet, 
and opposed to Haward's gaze a tall, mnacniar frame, 
high featores slightly pockmarked, and keen dark 
bine eyes. 

" I was dreaming, and did not hear you," he sud, 
civilly enough. " It 's not often that any one comes 
to the store at this time of day. What d' ye lack ? " 

As he spoke be moved toward the doorway, through 
which showed shelves and tables piled with the ex- 
traordinary variety of goods which were deemed es- 
sential to the colonial trade. " Are yoa the store- 
keeper?" asked Haward, keeping pace with the 
other's long stride. 

" It 's the aame they call me by," answered the 
man curtly ; then, as he chanced to turn bis eyes upon 
tbe landing, his tone changed, and a smile irradiated 
his countenance. " Here comes a customer," he re- 
marked, " that '11 make you bide your turn." 

A boat, rowed by a young boy and carrying a 
woman, had slipped out of the creek, and along the 
river bank to the steps of the landing. When they 
were reached, the boy sat still, the oars resting across 
his knees, and his face upturned to a palace beautiful 
of pearl and saffron cloud ; but the woman mounted 
the steps, and, crossing the boards, came up to the 
door and the men beside it. Her dress was gray and 
onadomed, and she was young and of a quiet loveli- 
ness. 



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" MistresB Tmelove Taberer," said the storekeeper, 
*' what cao you choose, this Ma; Day, that 's so fair 
as yourself ? " 

A piur of gray eyes were lifted for the sixth part 
of a second, and a voice that had learned o£ the doves 
in the forest proceeded to rebuke the flatterer. " Thee 
is idle in thy speech, Angus MacLean," it declared. 
" I am not fair ; nor, if I were, should thee tell me of 
it Also, friend, it is idle and tendeth toward idolatry 
to speak of the first day of the fifth moath as May 
Day. My mother sent me for a paper of White- 
chapel needles, and twd of manikiD pins. Has thee 
them in thy store of goods ?" 

"Come you in and look for yourself," swd the 
storekeeper. " There 's woman's gear enough, but it 
were easier for me to recount the names of all the 
children of Gillcan-ni-Tuiddhe than to remember bow 
you call the things you wear." 

So saying he entered the store. The Quakeress 
followed, and Haward, tired of his own thoughts, and 
in the mood to be amused by trifles, trod in their foot- 
steps. 

Door and window faced the west, and the glow 
from the inking sun illumined the thonsand and one 
features of the place. Here was the glint of tools 
and weapons ; there pewter shone like silver, and 
brass dazzled the eyes. Bales of red cotton, blue 
linen, flowered Kidderminster, scarlet sei^, gold and 
silver dm^et, all sorts of woven stuffs from lockram 
to brocade, made bright the shelves. Pendent skins 
of buck and doe showed like brown satin, while look- 
ing-glasses upon the wall reflected green trees and 
painted clouds. In one dark comer lurked kegs of 
powder and of shot ; another was the haunt of aqua 



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THE STOREEEEPEK 71 

Tito and right Jamaica. Plajing-oatds, Bsnffboxes, 
and fringed gloves elbowed a shelf of books, and a 
fall-bottomed wig ogled a lady'B headdress of rib- 
bon and malines. Knives and hatchets and du&l 
blankets for the Indian trade were not wanting. 

Haward, leaning gainst a table laden with so sin- 
gular a misceUany that a fine saddle with crimson 
velvet holsters took the head of the board, while the 
foot was set with blue and white china, watched the 
sometime moulder of peak and islet draw out a case 
filled with such small and womanish articles as pins 
and needles, tape and thread, and place it before his 
cnstomer. She made faer choice, and the storekeeper 
broaght a great bot^ and entered against the head 
of the house of Taberer so many pounds of tobacco ; 
then, as the nuuden turned to depart, heaved a sigh 
BO piteous and profound that no tender saint in gray 
could do less than pause, half turn her head, and lift 
two compassiouate eyes. 

"Mistress Truelove, I have read the good book 
that you gave me, and I cannot deny that I am much 
beholden to you," and her debtor sighed like a fur. 
nace. 

The girl's quiet face flushed to the pink of a sea- 
shell, and her eyes grew eager. 

" Then does thee not see the error of Uiy ways, 
Angus MacLean ? If it should be given me to pluck 
thee as a brand from the burning! Thee will not 
again brag of war and revenge, nor sing vtun and 
ruthless songs, nor use dice or cards, nor will thee 
swear any more ? " 

The voice was persuasion's own. "May I be set 
overtide on the Lady's Rock, or spare a false Camp- 
bell when I meet biin, or throw up my cap for the 



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7S ATTDBET 

<lainned H(^;aii Mogan tliat Bite in Jamie's place, if I 
am not entirely convert ! " cried the neophyte. "Oh, 
the devil I what have I siud ? Mistress Tmelore — ~ 
Truelove" — 

Bat Truelove was gone, — not in anger or in haste* 
for that would have been unseemly, but quietly and 
steadily, with no looking back. The storekeeper, leap- 
ing over a keg of n^ls that stood in the way, made for 
the door, and tc^ther with Haward, who was already 
there, watched her go. The patli to the landing and 
the boat was short ; she had taken her Beat, and the 
boy had bent to the oars, while the unlucky Scot was 
yet alternately calling out protestations of amend- 
ment and muttering maledictions upon his unguarded 
tongue. The canoe slipped from the rosy, unshadowed 
water into Uie darkness beneath the overhanging trees, 
reached the mouth of the creek, and in a moment 
disappeared from sight. 



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CHAPTER VI 
MAfrr&a akd man 

The two men, left alone, turned each toward tlie 
interior of the store, and tbeir eyes met. Alike in 
gray eyes and in dark bine there was laughter. " Kit- 
tle folk, the Quakers," said the storekeeper, with a 
shrug, and went to put away his case ot pins and 
needles. Haward, going to the end of tiie store, found 
a row of dasty bottles, and breaking the neck of one 
with a report like that of a pistol set the Madeira to 
his lips, and therewith quenched his thirst. The wine 
cellar abutted upon the library. Taking ofE his riding 
glove he ran his finger alcmg the bindings, and pluck- 
ing forth The History of a Coy Lady looked at the 
first p^e, read the last paragraph, and finally thrust 
the thin brown and gilt volume into his pcicket. Turn- 
ing, he found himself face to face with the store- 
keeper. 

" I have not the honor of knowing your name, air," 
remarked the latter dryly. " Do you buy at this store, 
and upon whose account? " 

Haward shook his head, and applied himself agun 
to the Madeira. 

" Then you carry with yon coin of the realm with 
whioh to settle 7 " continued the other. " The wine ia 
two shillings; the book yon may have for twelve- 
pence." 

" Here I need not pay, good feUow," said Haward 

DoiizodbvCoogle 



negligently, liis eyea npon a tow of dangling objects. 
" Fetch me down yonder cane ; 't is as delicately 
tapered and clouded as any at tlie Exchange." 

" Fay me first for the wine and the book," answered 
the man composedly. " It 'a a dirty bnsinesB enough, 
God knows, for a gentleman to put finger to ; but since 
needs most when the devil drives, and he has driven 
me here, why, I, Angus MacLean, who have no con- 
cerns of my own, most e'en be faithful to the oonoems 
of another. Wherefore put down the silver yon owe 
the Sassenach whose wine you have drunken and whose 
booh you hare taken." 

"And if I do not choose to pay?" asked Haward, 
with a smile. 

"Then you must e'en choose to fight," was the cool 
reply. " And as I observe tbat you wear neither sword, 
nor pistols, and as jack boots and a fine tight-buttoned 
riding coat are not the easiest clothes to wrestle in, it 
appears just possible that I might win the cause." 

" And when you *ve thrown me, what then? " 

'*0h, I would just draw a rope aronnd yoa and 
yonder cask of Jamaica, and leave you to read yoor 
stolen book in peace until Saunderson (that 'b the 
overseer, and he 's none so bad if he was bom in Fife) 
shall come. Yon can have it out with him ; or maybe 
he '11 hale yoa before the man that owns the store. I 
hear they expect him home." 

Haward laughed, and abstracting another bottle 
from the shelf broke its neck. " Hand me yonder 
cup," he said easily, " and we 'U drink to his home- 
coming. Good fellow, I am Mr. Marmadnke Haward, 
and I am glad to find so honest a man in a place of no 
Btnall trust. Long absence and somewhat too com- 
plfusant a reference of all my Vi^inian affairs to my 



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MASTER AND HAN 76 

agent hare kept me mnoh in ignoranoe of the eoo- 
nomy of my plantation. How long have yoa been my 
storekeeper?" 

Neither cnp for the wine nor answer to the qnestion 
being forthcoming, Haward looked np from his brokm 
bottle. The man was standing with his body bent 
forward and his band pressed against the wood of a 
great cask behind him nn^ the finger-nails showed 
white. His bead was high, his face dark rod and 
angry, his brows drawn down until the gleaming eyes 
beneath were like pin points. 

So andden and so sinister was the ohange that Ha- 
ward was startled. The hoar was late, the place de- 
serted ; as the man had discoTered, be Bad no weapons, 
nor, strong, active, and practiced as he was, did he 
flatter himself that he could withstand the length of 
brawn and sinew before him. Involuntarily, he stepped 
backward until there was a space between them, <Mst- 
ing at the same moment a glance toward the wall where 
hung axe and knife and hatchet. 

The man intercepted the look, and broke into a 
laogh. The sound was harsh and gibing, but not 
menacing. " Yon need not be afraid," he said. " I 
do not want the feel of a rope around my neck, — 
thongh God knows why I should oare I Here is no 
clansman of mine, and no cursed Campbell either, to 
see my end I " 

'* I am not afrud," Haward answered calmly. "Walk- 
ing to the shelf that held an array of drinking vessels, 
he took two cops, filled them with wine, and going 
back to his former station, set one upon the cask be- 
side the storekeeper. " The wine is good," he said. 
"Will you drink?" 

The other loosened the clasp of his hand upon the 



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wood and drew himself npr^bt " I eat the bread 
and drink the water which you give your Berrouts," 
he answered, speaking with the thickness of hardly 
restrained passion. " The wine oup goes from equal 
to equaL" 

As he spoke he took np the peace ofiering, eyed it 
for a moment with a bitter smile, then flung it vith 
force over his shoulder. The earthen floor drank the 
wine ; the china shivered into a thousand fragments. 
" I have neither silver nor tobacco with which to pay 
for my pleasure," continued the still smiling store- 
keeper. ** When I am come to the end of my term, 
then, an it please you, I will serve out the damage." 

Haward sat down upon a keg of powder, crossed his 
knees, and, with his chin upon his hand, looked from 
between the curled lengths of his periwig at the figure 
opposite. " I am glad to find that in Virginia, at least, 
there is honesty," he said dryly. " I will try to re- 
member the cost of the cup and the wine against the 
expiry of your indenture. In the mean time, I am 
curious to know why you are angry with me whom 
you have never seen before to-day." 

WiA the dashing of Hie wine to earth the other's 
passion had apparently spent itself. The red slowly 
left his face, and he leaned at ease against the cask, 
drumming upon its head with his fingers. The sun- 
light, shrinking from floor and wall, had left but a sin- 
gle line of gold. In the half light strange and sombre 
shapes possessed the room ; through the stillness, be- 
neath the sound of the tattoo upon the cask head, the 
river made itself heard. 

" For ten years and more you have been my — mas- 
ter," said the storekeeper. *' It is a word for which I 
have an inTinoible distaste. It is not well — having 



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MASTER AND HAN 77 

neither love nor frieDdship to put in its place — to let 
hatred die. When I oame first to this slavery, I hated 
all Campbells, all Whigs, Foreter that betrayed us at 
Preston, and Ewin Mor MaokinnoD. But the yean 
have oonte and the years have gone, and I am older 
than I was at tventy-five. The Campbells I can never 
reach : they walk secure, overseas, through Ix)m and 
Argyle, ooaehing in the taU heather above Etive, track- 
ing the red deer in the Forest of Dalness. Forster is 
dead. Ewin Mackinnon is dead, I know ; for five 
years ago come Martinmas night I saw his perjured 
soul on its way to hell. All the world is turning 
Whig. A man may hate the world, it is true, but he 
needs a single foe." 

" And in that capacity you have adopted me 7 " 
demanded Haward. 

MaeLean let his gaze travel over the man opposite 
him, from the looped hat and the face between the 
waves of hair to the gilt spurs upon the great boots ; 
then turned his eyes upon his own hand and coarsely 
clad arm stretched acrosa the cask. " I, too, am a 
gentleman, the brother of a chieftain," he declared. 
" I am not without schooling. I have seen something 
of life, and of countries more polite than the land 
where I was bom, though not so dear. I have been 
free, and have loved my freedom. Do you find it 
so strange that I should hate you ? " 

There was a silence ; then, " Upon my soul, I d» 
not know that I do," sud Haward slowly. " And 
yet, imtil this day I did not know of your ezistenoe." 

" But I knew of yoors," answered the storekeeper. 
** Your agent hath an annoying trick of speech, and 
the overseers have caught it from him. ' Your mas- 
ter' this, Bod 'your master' that; in short, for ten 



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years it hath been, ' Work, yon dt^;, that yonr n 
may j^y I * Well, I have worked ; it vas that, or 
killiiig myself, or going mad. I hare w(n-ked for jon 
in the fields, in the smithy, in this dose room. Bnt 
when yon bought my body, yon conld not buy my 
soul. Day after day, and night after night, I sent it 
away ; I wonld not let it bide in these dull levels, in 
this flursed land of beat and stagnant waters. At 
first it went home to its own country, — to its friends 
uid its foes, to the torrent and the monntun and the 
muBio of the pipes ; but at last the pain outweighed 
the pleasure, and I sent it there no more. And then 
it began to follow you." 

" To follow me I " involuntarily exclaimed Haward. 

" I have been in London," went on the other, with- 
ont heeding the interruption. " I know the life of 
men of quality, and where they moat resort. I early 
learned from your other servants, and from the chance 
words of those who bad your affairs in chat^, that 
yon were young, well-looking, a man of pleasure. At 
first when I thonght of you tlie blood came into my 
cheek, but at last I thought of you constantly, and I 
felt for you a constant hatred. It began when I knew 
that Gwin Mackinnon was dead. I had no need c^ 
love ; I bad need of bate. Day after day, my body 
slaving here, my mind has dogged your footsteps. 
Up and down, to and fro, in business and in pleasure, 
in whatever place I have imagined yon to be, there 
have I been also. Did you never, when there seemed 
none by, look over yonr shoulder, feelii^ anodier pre- 
sence (ban your own ? " 

He ceased to speak, and the hand upon the cask 
was stilL The sunshine was dean gone frcnn the 
room, and witliont the door the wind in the looost- 



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MASTER AMD UAN TB 

tree answered the voice of the riTOr. Haward K»e 
from bis seat, bat made no further motion toward de> 
parting. " Ton have been frank," he said quietly. 
" Had yon it in mind, all this while, so to speak to 
me when we should meet?" 

" No," aDBwered the other. " I thought not of 
worda, but of " — 

<* Bat of deeds," Haward finished for him. "Batber, 
I imagine, of one deed." 

Composed as ever in voice and manner, he drew 
ont his watoh, and held it aslant that the light might 
strike npon the dial. ** 'T is after six," be remarked 
as be pnt it away, " and I am yet a mile from the 
home." Tbe wine that he bad poured for himself 
had been standing, ontouohed, npon the keg beside 
him. He took it np and drank it off ; then wiped his 
lips with bis handkerchief, and passing tbe storekeeper 
with a slight inclination of his bead walked toward tbe 
door. A yard beyond tbe man who had bo coolly 
shown bis side of the shield was a rude tabla, on which 
were displayed hatchets and banting knives. Haward 
passed the gleaming steel ; then, a foot beyond it, 
stood still, his face to the open door, and bis back to 
tbe storekeeper and the table with its sinister lading. 

" Yon do wrong to allow so much dnst and disor- 
der," he said sharply. " I coald write my name in 
that mirror, and there is a fnece of brocade fallen to 
the floor. Look to it titat yon keep the place more 
neat." 

There was dead silence for a moment ; tJien Mac- 
Lean spoke in an even voice : " Now a fool might call 
you as brave as Hector. For myself, I only give you 
credit for some knowledge of men. You are right. 
It is not my way to strike in the back an onarmed 



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80 AUDREY 

man. WLec yoa are gone, I will wipe off the mirror 
and pick up the brocade." 

He followed Haward outside. ** It 'a a brave even- 
ing for riding," lie remarked, " and you hare a bonny 
bit of horeeflesh there. You '11 get to the house before 
candlelight." 

Beside one of the benohea Haward made another 
pause. *' Tou are a Highlander and a Jacobite," he 
Sfud. " From your reference to Forster, I gather that 
yon were among the prisoners taken at I^ston and 
transported to Vii^inia." 

" In the Elizabeth and Anne of Liverpool, aliat a 
bit of hell afloat ; the master, Captain Ddward Traf- 
ford, alias Satan's first mate," quoth the other grimly. 

He stooped to the bench where lay the debris of the 
coast and mountains he had been lately building, and 
picked np a small, deep shelL " My story is short," 
he began. " It could be packed into this. I was bom 
in the island of Mnll, of my father a chieftain, and 
my mother a lady. Some schooling I got in Aberdeen, 
some {deasnre in Edinboigh and London, and some 
service abroad. In my twenty-fliird year — being at 
home at that time — I was asked to a bunting matoh at 
Kraemar, and went. No great while afterwards I was 
bidden to supper at an Edinbm^h tavern, and again I 
accepted the invitation. There was a small eutertain- 
ment to follow the supper, — jost &.e taking of Edin- 
boigh Castle. But the wine was good, and we waited 
to powder our hair, and the entertainmeot could hardly 
be called a success. Hard upon that convivial even- 
ing, X, with many others, was asked across the Border 
to join a number of gentlemen who drank to tiie King 
after our fashion, and had a like fancy for oak bougbs 
Rud white roses. The weatiiet was pleasant, the com- 



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IfASTEB AND KAJS 81 

pai^ <rf tlie beet, the roads vaiy Doble after onr Higb- 
land sheep tracks. Together witb our EiLglish friends, 
and enliTened by much good claret and by mnsio of 
bagpipe and dmm, we stroUad on through a fine, pop^ 
along country until we came to a town called Preston, 
where we thought we would tarry for a day or two. 
However, circumstances arose which detained us some- 
what longer. (I dare say yon have heard the stoiy 7) 
"When finally we took our leave, some of ns went to 
heaven, some to hell, and some to Barbadoes and Vir- 
ginia. I was among those dispatched to Virginia, and 
to all intents and purposes I died the day I landed. 
There, the shell is full I " 

He tossed it from him, and going to the hitching, 
post loosed Haward's horse. Haward took the reins 
from his hand. ** It hath been ten yeai-s and more 
since Virginia got her share of the rebels taken at 
Preston. If I remember aright, their indentures were 
to be made for seven years. Why, then, are you yet 
in my service ? " 

MacLean laughed. " I ran away," he replied plea- 
santly, " and when I was caught I made off a second 
time. I wonder that yon planters do not have a 
Society for the Enoonragement of Runaways. Seeing 
that they are nearly always retaken, and that their 
escapades so lengthen their term of service, it would 
surely be to your advantage I There are yet several 
years in which I am to call you master," 

He laughed agMn, but the sound was mirthless, and 
the eyes beneath the half-closed lids were harder than 
Bt«iel, Haward mounted his horse and gathered up 
the rrans. " I am not responsible for the laws of the 
realm," he said calmly, "nor for rebellions and insur- 
tectitms, nor for the praotioe of transporting overseas 



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82 AUDllET 

thofls to ■whom have been given tiie tigly names of 
* rebel * and ' traitor.' Destiny that set you there put 
me hero. We are alike pawns ; what the player 
means we' have no way of telling. Curse Fate and 
the gods, if you choose, — and find that your cursing 
does small good, — but regard me with indifference, 
as one neither more nor less the slave of circumstances 
than yourself. It has been long since I went this 
way. Is there yet the path by the river 7 " 

**Ay," answered the other. "It is your shortest 
road." 

*' Then I will be going," said Haward. " It grows 
late, and I nm not looked for before to-morrow. Good- 
night." 

As he spoke he raised his bat and bowed to 1^ 
gentleman from whom be was parting. That rebel to 
King George gave a great start ; then turned very 
red, and shot a piercing glance at the man on horso- 
back. The latter's mien was composed as ever, and, 
with his hat held beneath his apn and his body slightly 
inclined, he was evidently awaiting a like ceremony 
of leave-taking on the storekeeper's part. MacLeau 
drew a long breath, stepped back a pace or two, and 
bowed to his equal. A second ** Good-night," and 
one gentleman rode off iu the direction of the great 
house, while the other went thoughtfully back to the 
store, got a cloth and wiped the dust from the mirror. 

It was pleasant riding by the river in the cool even, 
ing wind, with the colors of the sunset yet gay in sky 
and water. Haward went slowly, glancing now at 
the great, bright stream, now at the wide, calm fields 
and the rim of woodland, dark and distant, bounding 
his possessions. The smell of salt marshes, of ploughed 
ground, of lei^aes of flowering forests, was in bis nos- 



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MASTER AND MAN 8S 

tiits. Behind him was the orescent moon ; before him 
a terrace otowned with lofty trees. Within the ring 
of foliage was the honse ; even as be looked a li^it 
Bprtatg np in a high window, and shone like a star 
through the gaihering dask. Below the hill the home 
landing ran its gannt black length far out into the 
carmine of the river; upon the Oolden Bose limits 
burned like lower stars ; from a thicket to the left of 
the bridle path sounded the call of a whippoorwill. 
A gnat of wind blowing from the bay made to waver 
the lanterns of the Golden Bose, broke and darkened 
the coral peace of the river, and pushed rudely gainst 
the master of t^ose parts. Haward lud his hand 
upon bis horse that he loved. " This is better than 
the Ring, is n't it, Mirza? " he asked genially, and the 
horse whinnied under hie touoh. 

The land was quite gray, the river pearl-colored, 
and the 6reflies beginning to sparkle, when he rode 
through the home gates. In the dnsk of the world* 
out of the deeper shadow of the surrounding trees, bis 
house looked grimly upon him. The light had been 
at the side ; all the front was stark and black with 
shuttered windows. He rode to the back of tbe bouse 
and hallooed to the slaves in the home quarter, where 
were lights and noisy laughter, and one deep voice 
sin^Dg in an nnknown tongue. 

It was but a stone's throw to the nearest cabin, and 
Haward's call made itself heard above the babeL The 
noise suddenly lessoned, and two or three n^roes, 
starting np from the doorstep, hurried across the grass 
to horse and rider. Quickly as they came, some one 
within the house was beforehand with them. The door 
swung open ; there was the fiare of a lighted oand^ 
and a voice cried oot to know what was wanted. 



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H ACTDBEr 

""Wanted I" exclaimed Hawatd. '^htgreu into 
my own honae is wanted I Wliere is Jnba 7 " 

One of the negroes pressed forward. " Heah I is, 
Marse Dnke I Hoose all ready ior yon, but yon done 
sont word " — 

"I know, — I know," answered Haward impatiently. 
" I changed my mind. Is that yon, Saunderson, with 
the light? Or is it Hide?" 

The candle moved to one side, and tliere was dis- 
closed a large white face atop of a shambling figure 
dressed in some coarse, dark stuff. "Neither, sir," 
said an expressionless voice. "Will it please yoor 
Honor to dismonnt?" 

Haward swung himself ont of the saddle, tossed the 
teins to a negro, and, with Jaba at bis heels, climbed 
the five low stone steps and entered the wide hall run- 
ning tfaroagh the hoose and broken only by the broad, 
winding stairway. Save for the glimmer of the soli- 
tary candle all was in darkness ; the bare floor, the 
paneled walls, echoed to his tread. On either hand 
squares of blackness proclaimed the open doors of 
large, empty rooms, and down the stair came a wind 
that bent the weak flame, l^e negro took the light 
from the hand of the man who had opened the door, 
and, pressing past his master, lit three candles in a 
scoDce upon the viSL 

" Yo* room 's all ready, Marse Dnke," be declared. 
" Dere 's candles enough, an* de fire am lud an' yo* 
bed aired. Ef yoa wan' some sapper, I kin get yoa 
bread an' meat, an* de wine was pnt in yesterday.** 

Haward nodded, and taMog the candle b^an to 
mount the stairs. Half way up he fotind that the 
man in the sad-colored raiment was following him. 
He raised his browa* but being in a taataro hnmor* 



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UASTEB AND MAN 65 . 

and having, moreorer, to shield the flame from the 
wind diat drove down the stur, he siud nothing, going 
on in silence to the landing, and to the great eastward- 
facing room that had been his father's, and which 
now he meant to make his own. There were candles 
on the table, the dresser, and the mantelshelf. He 
lit them all, and the room changed from a place of 
shadows and moostnras shapes to a gentleman's bed- 
chamber, — somewhat sparsely furnished, but of ft 
comfortable and dieerfol aspect. A cloth lay npon 
the floor, the windows were curtained, and the bed 
had fresh hangings of green and white Kidderminster. 
Over the mantel hung a painting of Haward and his 
mother, done when he was six years old. Beneath 
the laughing child and the smiling lady, yonng and 
flower-crowned, were crossed two ancient swords. In 
the middle of- the room stood a heavy taUe, and 
pushed back, as tboagh some one had lately risen 
from it, was an armchair of Bnssiao leather. Bodes 
lay upon the table ; one of them open, with a horn 
snufFbox keeping down the leaf. 

Haward seated himself in the great chair, and 
looked around him with a thoughtful and melancholy 
smile. He could not dearly remember his mother. 
The rings upon her fingers and her silvery langhter 
were all that dwelt in his mind, and now only the 
sound of that merriment floated back to him and lin- 
gered in the room. But his father had died upon that 
bed, and beside the dead man, between the candles at 
the head and the candles at the foot, he had sat the 
night throt^;h. The ourtuns were half drawn, and in 
their shadow his imagination laid again that cold, 
inanimate form. Twelve years ago I How young he 
had been that night, and Iu>w old he had thought binir- 



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■elf as he watobed beside the deadf ehflled by the oald 
of the OTosaed hands, awed by the silence, half frighted 
by the shadows on the wall; now filled with natatal 
grief, now with surreptitions and shamefaced thoughts 
of his changed estate, — yesterday son and dependent 
to^y heir and master! Twelve years! The sij^ 
and the smite wete not for the dead father, hot for 
his own dead youth, for the onjaded freshness of the 
morning, for the world that had been, onoe open a 
time. 

Turning in his seat, his eyes fell npon the man who 
had followed him, and who was now standing between 
the table and the door. "Well, friend?" he de- 
manded. 

The man oame a step or two nearer. His hat was 
in his hand, and his body was obseqnionsly bent, bat 
there was no discomposnre in hia lifeless voice and 
manner. " I stayed to explain my presence in the 
house, sir," he said. " I am a lover of reading, and, 
knowing my weakness, yonr overseer, who keeps the 
heys of the house, has been so good as to let me, fnmi 
time to time, come here to this room to mingle in more 
delectable company than I can choose without these 
walls. Your Honor donbtless remembers yonder 
goodly assemblage?" He motioned with his hand 
toward a half-opened door, showing a closet lined with 
well-fiUed bookshelves. 

**I remember," replied Haward dryly. "So you 
come to my room alone at night, and occupy yourself 
in reading ? And when you are wearied you refresh 
yourself with my wine ? " As he spoke he clinked 
together the -bottle and glass that stood beside the 
books. 

** I ^ead guilty to the wine,'* answered the intmder, 



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MASTER ASD MAN 87 

u lifelasdy as erer, " bat tt is my onh^ theft. I found 
the bottle belov, aod did not think it would be missed. 
I tnut that yonr Honor does not grudge it to a poor 
devil who tastes Buzgondy somewhat seldomer than 
does your Worship. And my being in the house is 
pure innocence. Your overseer knew that I would 
neither make nor meddle with aught but the books, or 
he would not have ^ven me the key to the little door, 
which I now restore to your Honor's keeping." He 
advanced, and deposited upon the table a large key. 

" What is your name ? " demanded Haward, tesnii^ 
back in bis chair. 

" Bartholomew Paris, sir. I keep the 3cbo<d down 
by the swamp, where I impart to fifteen or twenty of 
1^ jonth of these parts the rudiments of the ancient 
and modem tongues, mathematios, gec^^phy, fortifi- 
cations, navigation, philosophy " — 

Haward yawned, and the schoolmaster broke the 
thread of his discourse. " I weary you, sir," he stud. 
"I will, with yonr permission, take my departare. 
May I make so bold as to beg yonr Honor that yoa 
will not mention to the gentlemen hereabouts the 
small matter of this bottle of wine ? I wonld wish 
not to be prejudiced in the eyes of my patrons and 
scholars." 

" I will think of it," Haward replied. ** Come and 
take yonr snofHiox — if it be yours — from the book 
where you have left it." 

" It is mine," siud the man. " A present from the 
godly minister of this parish." 

As he spoke he put oat his hand to take the snuff- 
box. Haward leaned forward, seized the hand, and, 
bending back the fingers, exposed the palm to the 
l^ht of Ute candles upon the table. 



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88 ATJDRET 

" The other, if yoa please," he commanded. 

For a secood — no longer — a wicked sonl looked 
blackly out of the face to which he had msed his 
eyes. Then the window shut, and the wall was blank 
again. Without any change in hia listless demeanor, 
the schoolmaster laid his left hand, palm out, beside 
bis right. 

" Humph \ '' exclaimed Haward. " So yon have 
stolen before to-night ? The marks are old. Wheo 
were yon branded, and where?" 

" In Bristol, fifteen years ^o," answered the man 
nnbloshingly. " It was all a mistake. I was as inno- 
cent as a newborn babe " — 

" Bnt unfortunately ooold not prove it," interrupted 
Haward. " That is of course. Go on." 

" I yraa transported to South Carolina, and there 
served out my term. The climate did not suit me, 
and 1 liked not the society, nor — being of a peaceful 
disposition — the constant alarms of pirates and buc- 
oaneere. So when I was once mora my own man I 
traveled north to Virginia with a party of traders. In 
my youth I had been an Oxford servitor, and school- 
masters are in demand in Yii^iinia. Weighed in the 
scales with a knowledge of the humanities and some 
skin in imparting them, what matters a little mishap 
with hot irons ? My patrons are willing to let by- 
gones be bygones. My school floorishes like a green 
bay-tree, and the minister of this parish will speak for 
the probity and sobrie^ of my oondnot. Kow I will 
go, sir." 

He made an awkward bnt deep and obseqnions rev- 
erence, turned and went out of the door, passing Juba, 
who was entering with a salver laden with bread and 
meat and a conple of bottles. " Fnt down Hie food. 



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UAST£E AND HAN 8B 

Jnba," said Hawaid, " and see this geDtleman oat of 
tlte house." 

An hour later the master dismissed the slaTe, and 
sat down beside the table to finuh the wine and com- 
pose himself for the nighL The overseer had come 
hnrrying to the great bouse, to be sent home again by 
a message fnon the owner thereof that to-morrow 
would do for business; the negro women who had 
been called to make the bed were gone ; the noises 
from the quarter had long ceased, and the hoose was 
very still. In his rich, figured Indian nightgown and 
bis silken nightcap^ Haward eat and drank his wine, 
slowly, with long pauses between Uie emptying and 
the filling of the slender, tall-stemmed glass. A win- 
dow was open, and the wind blowing in made the 
candles to flicker. With the wind came a murmur of 
leaves -and tbe wash of the river, — stealthy and 
mournful sounds that sorted not with the lighted 
room, the cheerful homeliness of the flowered hang- 
ings, the gleeful lady and child above the mantelshelf. 
EUtward felt the incongruity : a slow sea voyage, and 
a week in that Virginia wliich, settled one hundred 
and twen^ years before, was yet laigely forest and 
sbeam, had weaned him, he thought, from sounds 
of tbe street, and yet to-night he missed them, and 
wotdd have had the town agai^i. When an owl hooted 
in the walnut-tree outside his window, and in the dis- 
tance, as far away as the creek quarter, a dog howled, 
and the silence closed in again, he rose, and began to 
walk to and fro, slowly, thinking of the past and the 
fature. Tbe past had its ghosts, — not many ; what 
spectres the future might raise only itself could teU. 
So far as mortal vision went, it was a rose-colored 
fatnre ; but on snob a night of nlenoe that was not 



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90 AUDHET 

nlence, of loneliness that was filled with still, small 
voices, of Iieavy darkness withoat, of lights bnming 
in an empty house, it was rather of ashes of roses that 
one thought. 

Haward went to the open window, and with one 
hnee npon the window seat looked out into the windy, 
starlit night. This was the eastern face of the house, 
and, beytHid the waving trees, there were visible both 
the river and the second and narrower creek which 
on this side bounded the plantatiint. The voice with 
which the waters swept to the sea eame strongly to 
him. A large white moth sailed oat of the darkness 
to the lit window, but his presence soared it away. 

Looking dirongh the walnut branches, he could see 
a light that burned steadily, like a candle set in a 
window. For a moment he wondered whence it 
shone ; then he remembered that the glebe lands lay 
in that direction. The parish was building a house 
for its new minister, when he left Virginia, those 
many years ago. Suddenly he recalled that the mii^ 
ister — who bad seemed to him a Muff, downright, 
honest fellow — had told him of a little room looking 
out upon an orchard, and had said that it should be 
the child's. 

It was possible that the star which pierced the dark- 
ness might mark that room. He knit his brows in an 
effort to remember when, before this day, he had last 
thought of a child whom he had held in his arms and 
comforted, one splendid dawn, upon a hilltop, in a 
mountainous region. He oame to the conclusion that 
be must have forgotten her qaite six years ago. Well, 
she would seem to have thriven under his neglect, — 
and he saw again the girl who had mn for the golden 
guinea. It was true that when he had put her there 



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MASTER AND UAN » 

where that light was shining, it was with some shadowy 
idea of giving her gentle breeding, of making a lady 
I of her. But man's purposes are fleeting, and often 
gone with the morrow. He had forgotten his pnr- 
pose ; and perhaps it was best this way, — perhaps it 
was best this way. 

For a littlo longer he looked at the light and listened 
to the voice of the river ; then be rose from the win- 
dow seat, drew the cnrtainB, and began thonghtfol^ 
to prqtaie f or bed. 



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CHAPTER Vn 

ISE BETDBN OF HONSIEUB JEAN HtTOON 

To the north the glebe was bonoded by a thick 
wood, a rank and dense *' second growth " springii^ 
&0B1 earth where had once stood, decorously apart, 
the monster trees of the primeTal forest; a wild maze 
of young trees, saplings and underbrosh, oTermn 
from the tops of the slender, bending pines to the 
bushes of d<^;wood and sassafras, and - the rotting, 
ancient stumps and fallen logs, by &e nncontrollable, 
all-spreading vine. It was such a fantastic thicket as 
one might look to find in fairyland, thorny and im* 
penetrable : here as tall as a ten years* pine, there 
sunken away to the he^ht of the wild honejrsuckles ; 
everywhere backed by blue Ay, heavy with odois, 
filled with the flash of wings and the songs of birds. 
To the east the thicket fell away to low and marshy 
grotmds, where tall cypresses grew, and myriads of 
myrtle bushes. Later in the year women and children 
would venture in upon the unstable earth for the sake 
of the myrtile berries and their yield of fn^^rant wax, 
and once and agun as outlying slave had been traced 
by men and dogs to the dark recesaes of the place ; 
but for the most part it was given over to its imme- 
morial silence. To the south and the west the tobacco 
fields of Fair View closed in upon the glebe, taking 
the fertile river bank, and pressing down to the 



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THE BETUBN OF UONSIBUK JEAN HUGON 68 

crooked, slow-moving, deeply ebadowed oreek, upon 
whose farther bank stood the house of the Bev, Oideoa 
Datden. 

A more retired spot, a completer seqtiestr&tion from 
the world of mart and highway, it wonld have been 
hard to find. In the qniet of the early morning, 
when the shadows of the trees lay across the dewy 
grass. It was an angle of the earth as oloistral and 
withdrawn as heart of scholar or of anchorite ooold 
wish. On one side of the house lay a tiny orohard, 
and the windows of the living room looked out upon a 
mist of pink and white apple blooms. The fragrance 
of the blossoms had been in the room, but oould not 
prevail against the odor of tobacco and mm lately in* 
trodnoed by the master of the honse and minister of 
the parish. Audrey, sitting beside a table whieh had 
been drawn in front of the window, turned her face 
aside, and was away, sense and soul, ont of the meanly 
furnished room into the midst of the great boaquets 
of bloom, with the bine between and above. Daiden, 
walking up and down, with his pipe in his moutii, and 
the tobaceo smoke cnrliug like an aureole around his 
bullet head, glanced toward the window. 

" When yon have written that which I have told 
you to write, say so, Audrey," he commanded. " Don't 
sit there staring at nothing I " 

Audrey came back to the present with a start, took 
up a pen, and drew the standish nearer. " ' Answer 
of Gideon Darden, Minister of Fair View Parish, in 
Virginia, to the several Qneiies contained in my Lord 
Bishop of London's Circular Letter to the Clergy in 
Virginia, * " she read, and poised her pen in air. 

" Bead out the questions," ordered Darden, " and 
write my answer to each in the spaoe beneath. No 



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M AUDEKT 

blots, mtnd you, and spell DOt after tlie promptings of 
your woman's nature." 

Going to a side table, be mixed for himself, in an 
old battered silver cap, a generous draught of bombo ; 
then, with the drink in his band, walked heavily 
across the uncarpeted floor to bis armchair, which 
creaked under bis weight as be sank into its leathern 
lap. He put down the rum and water with bo un- 
steady a hand that the liquor spilled, and when he 
refilled his pipe half the contantB of his tobacco box 
showered down upon bis frayed and ancient and tm- 
olean coat and breeches. From the pocket of the 
latter be now drew forth a silver ooin, which be 
balanced for a moment upon his fat forefinger, and 
finally sent ginning across the table to Audrey. 

" 'T is the dregs of thy guinea, child, that Vexia 
and Hugon and I drank at the crossroads last night. 
* Bum me,* says I to them, * if that long-legged lass 
of mine shan't have a drop in the cup I ' And says 
Hagon " — 

What Hugon s^ did not appear, or was confided 
to the depths of the tankard which the minister rused 
to his lips. Audrey looked at the splendid shilling 
gleaming upon the ^ble beside her, but made no mo- 
tion toward taking it into closer possession. A little 
red had come into the clear brown of her cheeks. She 
was a young ^1, widi ber dreams and fancies, and 
the golden guinea would have made a dream or two 
oome true. 

" ' Query the first,' " she read slowly. " ' How 
hnig since you went to the plantati<His as mission- 
ary?'" 

Darden, leaning back in bis chair, with his eyes 
uplifted through the smoke clouds to Hio ceiling, took 



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THE RETURN OF UONSIEUR JEAN HnGOH 9B 

his pipe from Bis monUi, for tiie better answering of 
Ms diocesan. "'My I^ord, thirteen years come St. 
Switliin'B day,' " he dictated. " ' Signed, Gideon Dar^ 
den.* Audrey, do not forget thy capitals. Thirteen 
years 1 Lord, Lord, the years, bow they fly I Hast 
it down, Audrey ? " 

Andrey, writing in a slow, fair, clerMy hand, made 
her period, and tnmed to the Bishop's second ques- 
tion : " * Had yoQ any other chnroh before yon oame 
to that which you now possess?' " 

" * Ko, my Lord,' " said the minister to the Bishop ; 
then to the ceiling : " I came raw from the devil to 
this parish. Audrey, hast erer heard children say 
that Satan comes and walks behind me when I go 
throngh the forest 7 " 

<* Yes," said Audrey, " bnt their eyes are not good. 
You go hand in band." 

Darden paused in Uie lifting of bis tankard. " Thy 
wits are brightening, Andrey ; bnt keep such obser^ 
nations to thyself. It is only the schoolmaster with 
whom I walk. Go on to the next qnestion." 

The Bishop desired to know bow long the minister 
addressed bad been icdncted into bis living. The 
minister addressed, leaning forward, l^d it off to bis 
Lordship how that the vestries in Virginia did not 
incline to have ministers inducted, and, being very 
powerful, kept the poor servants of the Cborch upon 
uneasy seats ; bnt that he, Gideon Darden, bad the 
love of bis flock, rich and poor, gentle and simple, 
and that in the first year of his mioistry the gentle- 
men of his vestry bad been pleased to present his 
name to the Governor for indnotion. Which explana- 
tion made, the minister drank more rum, and looked 
oat of the window at the orchard and at his neighbor's 
tobacco. 



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96 AUSBET 

"Yon are only a. woman, and can hoM do offioe> 
Audrey,'* he s^d, '* bnt I will impart to yon words of 
wisdom whose price ia above rubies. Always agree 
with your vestry. Go, bat in band, to each of its 
members in turn, craving advice as to the manage- 
ment of your own afEairs. Thunder from the pulpit 
against Popery, which does not exist in this colony, 
and the Pretender, who is at present in Italy. Wrap 
a dozen blaok aheep of inferior breed in white sheets 
and set them arow at the church door, but make it 
stuff of the conscience to see no blemish in the wealth- 
ier and more honorable portion of your flock. So yoo 
will thrive, and oome to be inducted into your living, 
whether in Vii^inia or some other quarter of the globe. 
Wbat's the worthy Bishop's next demand? Hasten, 
for Hugon is coming this morning, and there *s set- 
tlement to be made of a small bet, and a hand at 
cards." 

By t^e oiroular letter and the lips of Andrey the 
Bishop proceeded to propound a series of questions, 
which the minister answered with portentous glibness. 
In the midst of an estimate of the value of a living in 
a sweet-seented parish a face looked in at the window, 
and a dark and sinewy band laid before Andrey a bunch 
of scarlet columbine. 

" The rock was high," said a voice, " and the po(d 
beneath was deep and dark. Here are the flowers 
that waved from the rock and threw colored shadows 
upon the pooL" 

The girl shrank as from a sudden and mortal dan- 
ger. Her lips trembled, her eyes half closed, and with 
a hurried and passionate gesture she rose from her 
duur, thrust from her the scarlet blooms, and with 
one lithe movement of her body put between her and 



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THE RETURN OF MONSIEUB JEAK HUGON 9T 

the window the heavy writmg tahle. The mitustAr 
laid hy his sum in aritJimetio. 

" Ha, Hugon, dog of a trader ! " he cried. " Come 
in, man. Hast hronght the skinB? There's fire- 
water upon the table, and Audrey will be kind. Stay 
to dinner, and tell us what lading you brought down 
river, and of your kindred in the forest and your kin* 
dred in Monacan-Town." 

The man at the window shrugged his shoulders, 
lifted his brows, and spread his hands. So a captain 
of Mousquetaires m%ht have done ; but the face was 
dark>skinned, the cheek-bones were high, the black 
eyes large, fierce, and restless. A great bushy peruke, 
of an ancient fashion, and a coarse, much-laoed cravat 
gave setting and lent a touch of grotesqueness and of 
terror to a oountenaaoe wherein the blood of the red 
man warred with that of the white. 

" I will not come in now," said the voice again. " I 
am going in my boat to the big creek to take twelve 
doeskins to an old man named Taberer. I will come 
back to dinner. May I not, ma'm'selle ? " 

The comers of the lips went up, and the thicket of 
false hair swept the window sill, so low did the white 
man bow ; but the Indian eyes were watchfol. Audrey 
made no answer ; she stood with her face turned away 
and her eyes upon the door, measuring her chances. 
If Darden would let her pass, she might reach the 
sturway and her own room before the trader could 
enter the house. There were bolts to its heavy door, 
and Hugon might do as he had done before, and talk 
his heart out upon the wrong side of the wood. Thanks 
be ! lying upon her bed and pressing the pillow over 
her ears, she did not have to hear. 

At the trader's announcement that his present path 



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led past the house, she ceaaed her stealthy progress 
toward her own demesne, and waited, with her back to 
the window, and her eyes upon oce long ray of enn- 
shine that struck high gainst the wall. 

" I will come again," said the voice without, and 
the apparition was gone from the window. Once 
more blue sky and rosy bloom spanned the opening, 
and the sunshine lay in a square upon the floor. The 
^1 drew a long breath, and turning to the table be- 
gan to arrange the papers upon it with trembling 

" ' Sixteen thousand pounds of sweet-scented, at ten 
shillings the hundtedweight ; for marriage by banns, 
fire shillings ; for the preaching of % funeral sermon, 
forty shillings; for christening' " — began Darden 
for the Bishop's information. Audrey took her pen 
and wrote ; but before the list of the minister's per- 
quisites had come to an end the door flew open, and 
a woman with the face of a vixen came hurriedly 
into the room. With her entered the breeze from the 
river, driving before it the smoke wreaths, and blow- 
ing the papers from the table to the floor. 

Darden stamped bis foot. " Woman, I have busi- 
ness, I tell ye, — business with the Bishop of liondon ! 
I've kept his Lordship. at the door this se'nnight, and 
if I give him not audience Blair will presently be down 
upon me with tooth and nail and his ancient threat of 
a visitation. Begone and keep the house t Aodrey, 
where are you, child ? " 

" Audrey, leave the room ] " commanded the woman. 
" I have something to say that 's not for your ears. 
Ijet her go, Darden. There 's news, I tell yon." 

The minister glanced at his wife ; then knocked the 
aahes from hie pipe and nodded dismissal to Andrey. 



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THE EETUEN OF MONSIEUE JEAN HUGON 99 

£Qb late secretaty slipped from her seat and left the 
room, not without alacrity. 

" Well? "demanded Darden, when the sonnd of the 
quick young feet had died away. " Open your bndget, 
Deborah. There 'a naught in it, I 'U swear, but some 
tal-Ial about your flowered gown or an old wtnuan's 
black oat and comer broomstick." 

Mistress Deborah Darden pressed her thin lips to- 
gether, and eyed her lord and master with scant mea- 
sure of conjugal fondness. " It 'b about some one 
nearer home than your bishops and commissaries," she 
B^d. "Hide passed by this morning, going to the 
river field. I was in the garden, and he stopped to 
speak to me. Mr. Haward is home from England. 
He came to the great house last night, and he ordered 
his horse for ten o'clock this morning, and asked tiie 
nearest way through the fields to the parson^e." 

Darden whisUed, and put down his drink untasted. 

"Enter the most powerful gentleman of my ves- 
try I '* he exclaimed. " He 'U be that in a month's 
time. A member of the Council, too, no doubt, and 
with the Governor's ear. He 's a scholar and fine 
gentleman. Deborah, clear away this trash. Lay 
out my books, fetch a bottle of Canary, and give me 
my Sunday coat. Pat flowers on the table, and a 
dish of bonchr^tiens, and get on your tabby gown. 
Make your cnrtsy at the door ; then leave him to me." 

" And Audrey ? " said his wife. 

Darden, about to rise, sank baek again and sat still, 
a hand upon either arm of his chair. " Eh ! " he 
said ; then, in a meditative tone, " That is so, — diere 
is Audrey." 

" If he has eyes, he '11 see that for himself," retorted 
Mistress Deborah tartly. " * More to the purpose,' 



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100 AUDBET 

be *11 say, * vhere is the money that I gare yon for 
her?'" 

" Why, it 'a gone," answered Darden. *' Gone in 
muntenance, — gone in meat and drink and raiment. 
He did n't want it buried. Pshaw, Deborah, he haa 
quite forgot hia &ie-lady plan I He foi^t it years 
ago, I '11 swear." 

"I'll send her now on an errand to the Widow 
Constance's," said the mistress of the house. " Than 
before bo oomes again I '11 get her a gown " — 

The minister bronght his band down upon the ta- 
ble. " Yoa 'U do no such thing I " be thundered. 
" The girl 'a got to be here when he oomes. As for 
her dress, can't she borrow from you? The Lord 
knows that though only tbe wife of a poor parson, you 
might throw for gewgaws with a bona roba I Go trick 
her out, and bring her here. I'll attend to the wine 
and tbe books." 

When the door opened ag&in, and Audrey, alarmed 
and wondering, slipped with the wind into the room, 
and stood in the sunshine before Uis minister, that 
worthy first frowned, then laughed, and finally swore. 

** 'Swounds, Deborah, your hand is out ! If I had n't 
taken you from service, I 'd swear that you were never 
inside a fine lady's chamber. What 's the matter with 
the ^rl's skirt ? " 

" She 's too tall I " cried the sometime waiting woman 
angrily. " As for that great stain upon tbe sUk, tbe 
wine made it when you threw your tankard at me, 
last Sunday but one." 

" That mauteau pins her arms to her sides," inters 
mptod the minister calmly, *'and the lace is dirty. 
You 've hidden all her hair under that mazarine, and 
too many patches become not a brown skin. Turn 
around, child I " 



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THE RETURN OF M0NSIE17B JEAN HCGON 101 

While Audrey slowly TevDlvodv'ibe gooidian of her 
foitQBes, Isaning back i^ kis i ^^aJSt ;bei|t; ^, bmhy 
brows and gazed, not M the bkcEng-d^Mn-'its taw- 
dry apparel, but into the distance. Wheu she stood 
still and looked at him with a half-angry, half-fright- 
ened face, he brought his bleared eyes to bear npon 
her, studisd her for a minute, then motioned to his 
wife. 

" She must take off this paltty finery, Deboimh," he 
announced. " I '11 hare none of it. Go, child, and 
don your Cinderella gown." 

** What does it all mean ? " cried Audrey, with 
heaving bosom. '* Why did she put these things upon 
me, and why will she tell me nothing ? If Hugon has 
hand in it " — 

The minister made a gesture of contempt. " Hu- 
gon ! Hugon, half Monacau and half Frenchman, is 
bartering skins with a Quaker. Begone, child, and 
when yon are transformed return to us." 

When the door had closed he turned upon his wife. 
" The girl has been cared for," he said. *' She has 
been fed, — if not with cates and dainties, then with 
bread and meat ; she has been clothed, — if not io 
silk and lace, then in good blue linen and penistone. 
She is youug and of the springtime, hath more learn- 
ing than had many a princess of old times, is innocent 
and good to look at. Thou and the rest of thy sex 
are fools, Deborah, bat wise men died not with Solo- 
moB. It matters not about her dress." 

Bising, he went to a shelf of battered, dog-eared 
bools, and taking down an armful proceeded to strew 
the TolumM upon the table. The red blooms of the 
columbine being in the way, he t«^ up the bunch and 
toned it out of the window. With the light thud of 



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102 AUDREY 

the mass iipon tiie'^grAiInA'«yes of husband and vifs 

•net- .-. ;: •:■,"..•'•,":: ■ ■'. *': 

"HilgoD' MnM'nrurr ilie'']^!," 8>ud the btter, 
twisting the hem of her apron with rflstJesa fingers. 

Without change of countenance, Daiden leaned 
forward, seized her bj the shoulder and shook hex 
violently. " You are too given to idle and meaning- 
less words, Deborah," he declared, releasing her. 
" By the Lord, one of these days I '11 break yon of 
the habit for good and all I Hngon, and scarlet 
flowers, and who will marry Audrey, that is yet but a 
child and useful about the house, — what has all this 
to do with the matter in hand, which is simply to 
make ourselves and our house presentable in the eyes 
of my chief parishioner ? A man would think that 
thirteen years in Virginia would teach any fool the 
necessity of standing well with a powerful gentleman 
such as this. I 'm no coward. Damn sacotimonious 
parsons and my Lord Bishop's Scotch hireling I If 
they yelp much longer at my heels, I '11 scandalize 
them in good earnest I It 'a thin ice, though, — it 's 
thin ice ; but I like this house and glebe, and I 'm 
going to live and die in them, — and die drunk, if I 
choose, Mr. Commissary to the contnuy ! It 's of 
import, Deborah, that my parishioners, being easy 
folk, willing to live and let live, should like me still, 
and that a majority of my vestry should not be able 
to get on without me. With this in mind, get out the 
wine, dust the best chair, and be ready with thy curtsy. 
It will be time enough to cry Audrey's banns when 
she is asked in marriage." 

Audrey, in her brown dress, with the color yet in 
her cheeks, entering at the moment, Mistress Deborah 
attempted no response to her husband's adjuration. 



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THE BETDRN OF MONSIEUR JEAN HUGOH 103 

Darden tamed to the girl. " I 'ye done wiih the 
writing for the nonce, oliild," he said, " and need you 
no longer. I '11 smoke a pipe and think of my sermon. 
You 'le tired ; out with you into the sunshine 1 Go to 
the wood or down by the oieek, but not beyond oall, 
d' ye mind." 

Audrey looked from one to the other, but said no- 
thing. There were many things in the world of other 
people which she did not understand ; one thing more 
or less made no great difference. But she did under- 
stand the sunlit roof, the twilight balls, the patterned 
floor <tf the forest. Blossoms drifting down, fleeing 
shadows, voices of wind and water, and all murmurous 
elfin life spoke to her. They spoke the langn^e of 
her land ; when she stepped out of the door into the 
tar and faced the portals of her world, they called to 
her to oome. Lithe and slight and light of foot, she 
answered to their piping. The orchard through which 
she ran was fair with its rosy trees, like gayly dressed 
curtsying dames ; the slow, clear creek that held the 
double of the dky enticed, bnt she passed it by. 
Straight as an arrow she pierced to the heart of the 
wood that lay to the north. Thorn and bramble, 
branch of bloom and entangling Tine, stayed her not ; 
long since she had found or had made for herself a 
path to the centre of the labyrinth. Here was a beech- 
tree, older by many a year than the young wood, — a 
solitary tree spared by the axe what time its mates 
had fallen. Tall and silver-gray the column of the 
trunk rose to meet wide branches and the green lace- 
work of tender leaves. The earth beneath was clean 
swept, and carpeted with the leaves of last year ; a 
wide, dry, pale brown enchanted ring, ^[wnst whose 
borders pressed the riot of tiie forest Vine and bosh. 



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104 AUDBET 

flover and fern, eonld not enter ; bat Audrey came 
and laid herself down upon a cool and shady bed. 

By human measurement the honse that she had left 
was hard by ; even from under the beech-tree Mistress 
Deborah's thin call eonld drav her back to the walls 
which sheltered her, which she had been taught to call 
her home. Bat it was not her soul's home, and now 
the veil of the kindly woods withdrew it league on 
le^^e, shut it out, made it as if it had never been. 
From the charmed ring beneath the beech-tree she 
took possession of her world ; for her the wind mur- 
mured, the birds sang, insects hummed or shrilled, the 
green saplings nodded their heads. Flowers, and the 
bedded moss, and the little stream that leaped from a 
precipice of three feet into the calm of a hand-deep 
pool spoke to her. She was happy. Gone was the 
honse and its inmates ; gone Paris the schoolmaster, 
who had taught her to write, and whose hand touching 
hers in guidance made her eick and cold ; gone Hngoa 
the trader, whom she feared and bated. Here were 
no toil, no annoy, no frightened flutterings of the 
heart ; she had passed the frontier, and was safe in 
her own land. 

She pressed her cheek against the dead leaves, and, 
with the smell of the earth in ber nostrils, looked side- 
ways with half-closed eyes and made a radiant mist of 
the forest round about. A drowsy warmth was in the 
air ; the birds sang far away ; through a rift in the 
foliage a sunbeam came and rested beside her like a 
gilded snake. 

For a time, wrapped in the warmth and the green 
and gold mist, she lay as quiet as the sunbeam ; of 
the earth earthy, in pact with the mould beneath 
Ote leaves, with the slowly crescent tmnks, brown or 



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THE RETURN OF M0N8IEDB JEAN HUOON 108 

silreivgray, wifh moss and lidiened rook, and mth all 
life tliat basked or crept or flew. At last, however, 
the mind aroosed, and she opened her eyes, saw, and 
thongbt of wliat she saw. It was pleaaaot in the 
forest. She watched the flash of a bird, as blue as 
the sky, from limb to limb ; she listened to the elfln 
waterfall ; she drew herself with hand and arm across 
the leaves to the edge of the pale brown ring, plnohed 
a honeysuckle bough and brought it back to the silver 
column of the beech ; and lastly, glancing up from 
the rosy sprig within her hand, she saw a man coming 
toward her, down the path that she had thought hid- 
den, holding his arm before him for shield agunst 
brier and branch, and looking cnriously about him as 
for a thing which he had come out to seek. 



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CHAPTER Vm 

UKDEB THE OB£ENWO0D TBEE 

In the moment Id which she sprang to her feet she 
saw that it was not Hngoo, and her heart grew calm 
again. In h«r torn gown, with her brown luiir loosed 
from its fastenings, and faUlng over her sbonlders in 
hear; waves whose crests caagbt the stmtight, she 
stood against the tree beneath which she had Iain, 
gazed with wide-open eyes at the intruder, and guessed 
from his fine coat and the sparkling toy looping his 
hat that be was a gentleman. She knew gentlemen 
when she saw them : on a time one had cursed her 
for scurrying like a partridge across the road before 
his horse, making the beast come nigh to unseating 
him ; another, coming upon her and the Widow Con- 
stance's Barbara gathering fagots in the November 
woods, bad tossed to each a sixpence ; a third, on 
vestry business with the minister, had touched ber be- 
neath the chin, and sworn that an she were not so 
browii she were fair ; a fourth, lying hidden upon the 
bank of the creek, had caught her boat head as she 
pushed it into the reeds, and bad tried to kiss her. 
They had certain ways, bad gentlemen, but she knew 
DO great harm of them. There was one, now — but 
be would be like a prince. When at eventide the sky 
was piled with pale towering clouds, and she looked, 
as she often looked, down the river, toward the bay 



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UNDER THE GKEENWOOD THEE 107 

and the sea beyond, she always saw this prince that 
she had woven — warp of memory, woof of dreams 
— stand erect in the pearly light. There was a gen- 
tleman indeed I 

As to the possessor of t^e title now slowly and 
steadily making his way toward her she was in a mere 
state of wonder. It was not possible that he had lost 
his way ; bat if so, she was sorry that, in losing it, he 
bad found the slender zigz^ of her path. A trust- 
ful child, — save where Hugon was concerned, — she 
was not in the least afraid, and being of a friendly 
mind looked at the approaching figure with shy kind- 
liness, and thought that he must have oome from a 
distant part of the country. She thought that had 
she ever seen him before she would have remem- 
bered it. 

Upon the outskirts of the ring, clear of the close 
embrace of flowering bush and spreading vine. Ha- 
ward paused, xad looked with smiling eyes at this girl 
of the woods, this forest creature that, sprin^ng from 
the earth, had set its back ag^nst the tree. 

"Tarry awhile,'' he said. " Slip not yet within the 
bark. Had I known, I should hare brought oblation 
of milk and honey." 

" This is the thicket between Fair View and the 
^ebe lands," said Audrey, who knew not what bark 
of tree and milk and honey had to do with the case. 
" Over yonder, air, is the road t» the great house. 
This path ends here ; you must go back to the edge 
of the wood, then turn to the south " — 

" I have not lost my way," answered Haward, still 
smiling. *' It is pleasant here in the shade, after the 
warmth of the open. May I not sit down upon the 
leaves and talk to you for a while? I. came out to 
find yoQ, yon know." 



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lOS AUDSET 

As he flpoke, and without waiting for the permiB- 
sion which he ashed, he crossed the mstling leaves, 
and threw himself down upon the earth between two 
branching roots. Her ahirt brushed his knee ; with 
a movement quick and shy she put more distance be- 
tween them, then stood and looked at him with wide, 
grave eyes. " Why do you say that you came here to 
find me ? ** she asked. " I do not know you." 

Haward hiughed, nursing his knee and looking 
about him. " Let that pass for a moment. You 
have the prettiest woodland parlor, child 1 Tell me, 
do they treat yon well over there ? " with « jerk of 
his thumb toward the glebe house. " Madam the 
shrew and his reverence the bally, are they kind to 
you ? Though they let you go like a he^;ar mud," 
— he glanced kindly enough at her bare feet and 
torn gown, — " yet they starve you not, nor beat yon, 
nor deny you aught in reason ? " 

Audrey drew herself up. She had a proper pride, 
and she chose to forget for this occasion a bruise upon 
her arm and the thrusting apon her of Hngon's com- 
pany. *' I do not know who you are, sir, that ask me 
Buch questions," she said sedately. *'I have food 
and shelter and — and — kindness. And I go bare- 
foot only of week days " — 

It was a brave beginning, but of a sudden she 
found it hard to go on. She felt his eyes upon her 
and knew that he was unconvinced, and into her own 
eyes came the large tears. They did not fall, but 
through them she saw the forest swim in green and 
gold. " I have no father or mother," she said, " and 
no brother or sister. In all the world there is no one 
that is kin to me." 

Her voice, that was low and full and apt to fall into 



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UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE 109 

minor oadencee, died away, and she stood with her face 
raiBod and slightly turned from the gentleman who 
lay at her feet, streti^ed out upon the sere beech 
leaves. He did not seem inclined to speech, and for 
a time the little hrook and the birds and the wind in 
the trees sang undisturbed. 

''These woods axe very beautiful," said Haward at 
last, with his gaze upon her, " but if the land were 
less level it were more to my taste. Now, if this pliun 
were a little valley couched among the hills, if to the 
westward rose dark blue mountains like a rampart, if 
the nmlet yonder were broad and dear, if this beech 
were a sugar-tree " — 

He broke oB, content to see her eyes dilate, her 
bosom rise and fall, her hand go trembling for sup- 
port to the column of the beech. 

" Oh, the mountains I " she cried. *' When the mist 
lifted, when the cloud rested, when the sky was red 
behind them I Oh, the clear stream, and the sugar- 
tree, and the cabin ! Who are you ? How did yon 
know about these tilings ? Were you — were you 
there ? " 

She turned upon him, with her soul in her eyes. 
As for him, lying at length upon the ground, he 
locked bis hands beneath his head and began to sing, 
though scarce above his breath. He sang the song of 
Amiens : — 



When he had come to the end of the stanza he half 
rose, and turned toward the mute and breathless 
figure leaning gainst the beech-tree. For her the 
years had rolled back : one moment she stood upon 
the doorstep of the cabin, and the air was filled with 



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tiie trampling of hones, with quick laughter, vhis- 
tling, singing, and the call of a trumpet ; the next she 
ran, in night-time and in terrta-, between rows of 
rustling com, felt agun the clasp of her pursuer, 
heard at her cut the comfort of hia voioe. A film 
came between her eyes and the man at whom she 
stared, and her heart grew cold. 
" Audrey," said Haward, " come here, child." 
The blood returned to her heart, her vision cleared, 
and her arm fell from its clasp upon the tree. The 
bark opened not ; the hamadryad had lost the spell. 
When at his repeated command she crossed to him, 
she went as the trusting, dumbly loving, dumbly 
grateful child whose life he had saved, and whose 
comforter, protector, and guardian he had been. 
When be took her hands in bis she was glad to feel 
them there again, and she had no blnshes ready when 
he kissed her upon the forehead. It was sweet to her 
who hungered for affection, who long ago had set his 
im^e up, loving him purely as a sovereign Bpirit or 
as a dear and great elder brother, to hear him call 
her again " little maid ; *' tell her that she had not 
changed save in height ; ask her if she remembered 
this or that adveotute, what time they had strayed in 
the woods together. Remember ! When at last, be- 
neath his admirable management, the wonder and 
the shyness melted away, and she found her tongue, 
memories came in a torrent. The hilltop, the deep 
woods and the giant ti-ees, the house he tiad built for 
her out of stones and moss, the grapes they had 
gathered, the fish they had caught, the thunderstorm 
when he had snatehed her out of the path of a stricken 
and falling pine, an alarm of Indians, au alarm of 
wolves, finally the first faint sounds of the tetnming 



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UNDER THE QEEENWOOD TEEB 111 

expedition, the distant trompet note, tbe nearer ap- 
proaoh, tbe borstdng again into the valley of the 
Goremor antt his par^, the joomey from that loved 
spot to Williamsborgh, — all sights and sonnds, 
thoughts and emotions, of that time, fast held through 
lonely years, came at her call, and passed again in 
procession before them. Haward, first amazed, then 
touched, reached at length the conclnsioa that tiie 
years of her residence beneath the minister's roof 
could not have been happy; that she must always 
have put from her with shuddering and horror the 
memory of the night which orphaned her ; but that 
she had passionately nursed, cherished, and loved all 
that she had of sweet and dear, and that this all was 
tbe memory of her ohUdbood in the valley, and of that 
brief season when he had been her savior, protector, 
friend, and playmate. He leanied also — for she was 
too simple and too glad either to withhold the in- 
formation or to know that she had given it — that in 
her girlish and innocent imaginings she bad made of 
him a fury knight, clothing him in a panoply of 
power, mercy, and tendemesB, and setting him on 
high, so high that his very heel was above the heads 
of the mortals within her ken. 

Keen enongh in his perceptions, he wan able to 
recognize that here was a pure and imaginative spirit, 
strongly yearning after ideal strength, beauty, and 
goodness. Given such a spirit, it was not unnatural 
that, turning from sordid or unhappy surroundings as 
a flower turns from shadow to the full face of the sun, 
she should have taken a memory of valiant deeds, 
kind words, and a protecting arm, and have created 
out of these a man after her own heart, endowing him 
with all heroic attributes ; at one and the same time 



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sending him out into the world, a kuight-eirant with- 
out fear and without reproach, and keeping him by 
her side — the side of a child — in her own private 
wonderland. He saw that she had done this, and he 
was ashamed. He did not tell her that that eleven- 
years-distant fortnight was to him but a half-remem- 
bered inoident of a crowded life, and that to all intents 
and purposes she herself had been forgotten. For 
one ^ing, it would hare hurt her; for another, he 
saw no reason why be should tell her. Upon occasion 
he could be as ruthless as a stone ; if he were so now 
he knew it not, but in deceiving her deceived himself. 
Man of a world that was corrupt enough, be was of 
course quietly assured that be could bend this wood- 
land creature — halt child, half dryad — to the form 
of his bidding. To do so was in his power, but not 
his pleasure. He meant to leave her as she was ; to 
accept the adoration of die child, but to attempt no 
awakening of tbe woman. The girl was of the moun- 
tains, and their higher, colder, purer air ; though he 
bad brought her body thence, he would not have her 
spirit leave the climbing earth, tbe dreamlike summits, 
for the hot and dus^ plain. The plain, God knew, 
had dwellers enough. 

She was a thing of wild and sylvan grace, and there 
was fulfillment in a dark beauty all her own of the 
promise she had given as a child. About her was a 
pathos, too, — the pathos of tbe flower taken from its 
proper soil, and drooping in earth wbiob nourished it 
not. Haward, looking at her, watching tbe sensitive, 
mobile lips, reading in the dark eyes, beneath the 
felicifrf of the present, a hint and prophecy of woe, felt 
for her a pity so real and great that for the moment 
his heart aehed as for some sorrow of his own. She 



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UNDEE THE GREENWOOD TREE 113 

was only a young g^l, poor and helplesB, bom of poor 
and helpless parents dead long ^;o. There was in 
her veins no gentle blood ; she had none of the world's 
goods ; her gown was torn, her feet went bare. She 
had youth, but not its heritage of gladness : beauty, 
but none to see it ; a nature that reached toward light 
and height, and for its home the bouse which he had 
lately left. He was a man older by many years tiian 
the girl beside him, knowing good and evil; by in- 
stinct preferring tbe former, but at times stooping, 
open-eyed, to that degree of the latter which a laz and 
gay world held to be not incompatible with a conven- 
tion somewhat misnamed " the honor of a gentleman." 
Now, beneath the beech-tree in tbe forest which 
touched upon one aide the glebe, upon the other his 
own lands, he chose at this time the good; said to 
himself, and believed die thing he said, that in word 
and in deed he would prove himself her friend. 

Putting out his hand he drew her down upon the 
leaves ; and she sat beside him, still and happy, ready 
to answer him when he asked her this or that, readier 
yet to sit in blissful, dreamy silence. She was as 
pure as the flower which she held in her hand, and 
most innocent in her imaginings. This was a very 
perfeet knight, a great gentleman, good and pitiful, 
that bad saved her from the Indians when she was a 
little girl, and had been kind to her, — ah, so kind 1 
In that dreadful night when she had lost father and 
mother and brother and sister, when in the darkness 
her childish heart was a stone for terror, be bad come, 
like God, from tbe mountains, and straightway she 
was safe. Now into her woods, from over the sea, he 
had come again, and at onoe tbe load upon her heart, 
the dull longing and misery, the fear of Hugon, were 



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114 AUDEEY 

lifted. The cbaplet whidi she lud at his feet was not 
loosely wovec of gay-colored flowers, but was compact 
of austerer blooms of gratitude, Teveience, and that 
love which is ouly a louging to serve. The glamoar 
was at hand, the enchanted light which breaks not 
from the east or the west or the north or the south 
was npon its way ; but she knew it not, and she was 
happy in her ignorance. 

" I am tired of the oit^," he said. ** Now I shall 
stay in Vii^nia. A longing for the river and the 
marshes and the house where I was bom came upon 

" I know," she answered. " When I shut my eyes 
I see the cabin in the valley, and when I dream it is 
of things which happen io a mountainous country." 

" I am alone in the great house," he continued, 
" and the floors echo somewhat loudly. The garden, 
too ; beside myself there is no one to smell the roses 
or to walk in the moonlight. I had forgotten the 
isolation of these great plantations. Each is a pro- 
vince and a despotism. If the despot has neither kith 
nor kin, has not yet made friends, and cares not to 
draw company frcnn the quarters, he is lonely. They 
say that there are ladies in Virginia whose charms 
well-nigh outweigh their dowries of sweet-scented and 
Oronoko. I will wed such an one, and have laughter 
in my garden, and other footsteps than my own in my 
house." 

"There are beautiful ladies in these parts," said 
Audrey. " There is the one that gave me the guinea 
for my running yesterday. She was so very fair. I 
wished with all my heart that I were like her." 

" She is my friend," said Haward slowly, " and her 
mind is aa fair as her face. I will t^ her your 
story." 



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CNDEB THE OBEEKWOOD TBEE 116 

The gilded streab upon tbe earth beneath the beech 
had crept away, hut over the fema and veeds and 
flowering hushes between the slight trees without the 
ring the sunshine gloated. The bloe of the sky was 
wonderful, and in the silence Haward and Audrey 
heard the wind whisper in the treetops. A dove 
moaned, and a hare ran past. 

" It was I who brought you from the mountains and 
placed you here," aaid Haward at last. " I thought it 
for the best, and that when I sailed away I left you 
to a safe and happy life. It seems that I was mis- 
taken. But now that I am at home again, child, I 
wish you to look apon me, who am so much your elder, 
as your guardian and protector still. If there is any- 
thing which you lack, if you are misused, sn in need 
of help, why, think that your troubles are the Indian^ 
t^ain, little maid, and turn to me once more for 
help I " 

Having spoken honestly and well and very unwisely, 
he looked at his watoh and said that it was late. When 
h« rose to his feet Audrey did not more, and when he 
looked down upon her be saw that her eyes, that had 
been wet, were OTerflowing. He put out his band, and 
she took it and tonched it with her lips ; then, because 
he said that he had not meant to set her crying, she 
smiled, and with her own band dashed away the tears. 

" When I ride this way I shall always stop at the 
minister's house," aaid Haward, "when, if there is 
aught which you need or wish, you must tell me of it. 
Think of me as your friend, child." 

He laid his hand lightly and caressingly upon her 
head. The ruffles at his wrist, soft, &ae, and per- 
fumed, bmshed her forehead and her eyes. "The 
path thxongh your labyrinth to its beeohen hsart wu 



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116 AUDREY 

hard to find," lie continued, " bat I can eftsOy retrace 
it No, trouble not yourself, child. Stay for a time 
where you are. I wish to speak to the minister 
alone." 

His hand was lifted. Audrey felt rather than saw 
him go. Oaly a few feet, and the dogwood stars, the 
purple mist of the Judas-tree, the white fragrance of 
a wild cherry, came like a painted arras hetween them. 
For a time she could hear the movement of the branches 
as he pnt them aside ; but presently this too ceased, 
and the place was left to her and to all the life that 
called it home. 

It was the same wood, surely, into which she had 
run two hours before, and yet — and yet — When 
her tears were spent, and she stood up, leaning, with 
her loosened hair and her gown that was the color of 
oak bark, against the beech-tree, she looked about her 
and wondered. The wonder did not last, for she found 
an explanation. 

" It has been blessed," said Audrey, with all tever^ 
enoe and simplicity, " and that is why the light is so 



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HACLEAN TO THE BESCITE 

Sauitdeebon, the overseer, having laboriously writ- 
ten and signed a pass, laid down the quill, wiped his 
inky forefinger upon his aleeve, and gave the paper to 
the storekeeper, who sat idly by. 

" Ye '11 remember that the store chiefly \fiaka in 
broadcloth of Witney, frieze and camlet, an^ in wo- 
men's shoes, both silk and callimanoo. And dinna 
forget to trade with Aliok Ker for three small swords, 
a chafing dish, and a dozen mourning and hand-and- 
heart rings. See that you have the skins' worth. 
Alick 's an awfu' man to get the upper hand of." 

*' I 'm thinking a MacLean should have small diffi- 
culty with a Ker," said the storekeeper dryly. " What 
I 'm wanting to know is why I am saddled with the 
company of Monsieur Jean Hugon." He jerked his 
thumb toward the figure of the trader standing within 
the doorway. "I do not like the gentleman, and I 'd 
rather trudge it to WiUiamsbnrgh alone." 

" Ye ken not the value of the skiuB, nor how to show 
them off," answered the other. " Wherefore, for the 
consideration of a measure of rum, he 's engaged to 
help you in the trading. As for his being half Indian, 
Gude guide us I It 's been told me that no so many 
centuries ago the Highlandmen painted thor bodies 
and went into battle without taking advantage even of 



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118 AUSBET 

feathers and silk grass. One half of him is of the 
FreDoh nobeelity ; he told mo as much himself. And 
the best of ye — sic as the CampbeUs — are no better 
than that." 

He looked at MacLean with a caustic amile. The 
latter shrugged his shoulders. " So long as yon tie 
him neck and heels with a Campbell I am content," 
he answered. "Are you going? I 'II just bar the 
windows and lock the door, and then I 'II be ofF with 
yonder copper cadet of a French house. Good<day to 
you. I '11 be back to-night." 

" Ye 'd better," said the overseer, with another 
widening of his thin lips. " For myself, I bear ye no 
ill-will ; for my grandmither — rest her soul I — came 
frae the north, and X aye thought a Stewart better be- 
came the throne than a foreign-speaking body frae 
Hanover. But if the store is not open the mom I '11 
raise hue and cry, and that without wasting time. I 've 
been told ye 're great huntsmen in the Highlands ; if 
ye choose to turn red deer yourself, I 'U give ye a 
chase, anA troci ye down, man, and track ye down." 

MaoLean half turned from the window. *' I have 
hunted the red deer," he said, " in the land where I 
was bom, and which I shall see no more, and I have 
been myself hunted in the land where I shall die. I 
hare mn until I have fallen, and I have felt the teeth 
of the dogs. Were God to send a miracle — which he 
will not do — and I were to go back to the glen and 
the cr^ and the deep birch woods, I suppose that I 
would bunt again, would drive the stag to bay, hollo- 
ing to my hounds, and thinfcing the sound of the horns 
sweet music in my ears. It is the way of the earth. 
Hunter and hunted, we make the world and the pity 
of it." 



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MACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 119 

Setting to work ^un, he pnshecl to the beavy shat- 
teiR. " Yoa 'U find them open in the morning," he 
said, " and find me Belling, — selling clothing tbat I 
may not wear, wine that I may not drink, powder and 
shot that I may not spend, swords that I may not nse ; 
and giving, — giving pride, manhood, honor, heart's 
blood " — 

He broke off, shot to the bar across the shatters, and 
betook himself in silence to the other window, where 
presently he burst into a fit of laughter. The sound 
was harsh even to savagery. " Go your ways, Saun> 
derson," he said. " I 've tried the bars of the cage j 
they 're too strong. Stop on your morning round, and 
I 'H give account of my trading." 

The overseer gone, the windows barred, and the 
heavy door shut and locked behind him, MacLean 
paused upon the doorstep to look down upon his ap- 
pointed companion. The trader, half sitting, half re- 
dlining upon a log, was striking at something with the 
point of his hunting-knife, lightly, delicately, and often. 
The something was a lizard, about which, as it lay in 
the sunshine upon the log, be had wrought a pen of 
leafy twigs. The creature, darting for liberty this way 
and that, was met at every turn by the steel, and at 
every turn suffered a new wound. MaoLean looked ; 
then bent over and with a heavy stick struck the thing 
out of its pain. 

" There 's a time to work and a time to play, Hugon," 
he said coolly. " Playtime 's over now. The sun is 
high, and Isaac and the oxen must have the skins well- 
nigh to Willi amsburgh. Up with you 1 " 

Hugon rose to his feet, slid his knife into its sheath, 
and announced in good enough Snglisb that be was 
wady. He had youth, the slender, hardy, perfectly 



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120 ACDBET 

moulded fignre of the Indian, a coloring and a coun- 
tenance that were not of the white and not of the 
brown. When he went a-trading up the rirer, past 
the thickly settled country, past the falls, past the 
French town which his Huguenot father had helped 
to build, into the deep woode and to the Indian village 
whence had strayed hie mother, he wore the olothing 
that became the woods, — beaded moccasins, fringed 
le^ings, hunting-shirt of deerskin, cap of for, — 
looked his part and played it well. When he came 
hack to an English country, to wharves and stores, to 
balls and porches of great booses and parlors of lesser 
ones, to the streets and ordinaries of WiUiamsburgh, 
be pulled on jack boots, shragged himself into a coat 
with silver buttons, stuck lace of a so-eo quality at 
neck and wrists, wore a cocked hat and a Blenheim 
wig, and became a figure alike grotesque and terrible. 
Two thirds of the time his huainesa caused him to be 
in the forests that were far away ; but when he re- 
turned to civilization, to stare it in the face and brag 
within himself, "I am lot and part of what I see ! " 
be dwelt at the crossroads ordinary, drank and gamed 
with Paris the schoolmaster and Darden the minister, 
and dreamed (at times) of Darden's Audrey. 

The miles to Williamsbnrgh were long and sunny, 
with the dust thick beneath the feet. Warm and 
heavy, the scented spring possessed the land. It was 
a day for drowsing in the shade : for them who must 
needs walk in the sunshine, languor of thought over- 
took them, and aparsity of speech. Tfaey walked rap- 
idly, step with step, their two lean and sinewy bodies 
casting the same length of shadow; but they kept 
their eyes upon the long glare of white dust, and told 
not their dreams. At a point in tiie road where the 



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MACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 121 

fltorekeeper saw only confased marks and a powdering 
of dost upon the roadside bushes, the half-breed 
annoanoed that there bad been that morning a soufBe 
in a gang of negroes; that a small man had been 
thrown heavily to the earth, and a large man had 
made o£F across a low ditoh into the woods ; that the 
overseer had parted the combatants, and that some 
one's back had bled. No sooner was this piece of 
clairvoyance aired than he was vexed that he had 
shown a hall-mark of the savage, and hastily explained 
that life in the woods, such as a trader mast live, 
would teach any man — an Englishman, now, as well 
as a Frenchman — how to read what was written on 
the earth. Farther on, when they came to a minia- 
ture glen between the semblance of two bills, down 
wbieh, in mockery of a torrent, brabbled a slim brown 
stream, MaoLean stood still, gazed for a minute, then, 
whistling, cangbt np with his companion, and spoke 
at length upon the subject of the skins awaiting them 
at WiUiamsbnrg^. 

The road had other travelers th^ themselves. At 
intervals a cloud of dust would meet or overtake them, 
and out of the windows of coach or chariot or lighter 
chuse faces wonld glance at tbem. In the thick dust 
wheels and horses' hoofs made no noise, the black 
coachmen sat still upon the boxes, the faces were lan- 
guid with the springtime. A moment and all were 
gone. Oftener there passed a horseman. If he were 
riding the planter's pace, he went by like a whirlwind, 
troubling only to curse them out of his path ; if he 
had more leisure, he threw tbem a good-morning, or 
perhaps drew rein to ask this or that of Hugon. The 
trader watf well known, and was an authority upon 
all matters pertuning to hunting or trapping. The 



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foot passengers were few, for in Virginia no man 
walked that oonld ride, and on a mom of early May 
they that walked were like to be busy in the fields. 
An ancient seaman, lame and vi^bond, lurched be- 
side them for a while, then lagged behind ; a witch, 
old and bowed and bleared of eye, crossed their path ; 
and a Sapony hunter, with three wolves' heads slung 
across bis shoulder, slipped by them on his way to 
claim the reward decreed by the Assembly. At a 
turn of the road they came upon a small ordinary, 
with horses fastened before it, and with laughter, 
oaths, and the rattling of dice issuing from the open 
windows. The trader had money; the storekeeper 
had none. The latter, though he was thirsty, would 
have passed on; but Hugon twitched him by the 
sleeve, and producing from tbe depths of his great 
flapped pocket a handful of crusadoes, 6eaea, and 
pieces of eight, indicated with a flourish that he was 
prepared to share with bis less fortunate companion. 

They drank standing, kissed the girl who served 
them, and took to the road i^in. There were no 
more thick woods, the road running in a blaze of sun- 
shine past clumps of cedars and wayside tangles of 
blackberry, sumac, and elder. Presently, beyond a 
group of elms, came into sight the goodly college of 
William and Mary, and, dazzling white against the 
blue, the spire of Bruton church. 

Within a wide pasture pertaining to the college, 
close to the roadside and under the boughs of a vast 
poplar, half a score of students were at play. Their 
lithe young bodies were dark of hue and were not 
overburdened with clothing; their countenances re- 
mained unmoved, without laughter or grimacing; and 
no excitement breathed in tbe voices with which they 



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MACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 123 

sailed one to another. In deep gravity they tossed a 
ball, or pitched a quoit, or eng^ed in vrestliag. A 
white man, with a eingularlj pure and gentle face, eat 
upon the grass at the foot of the tree, and watched 
the studions efforts of his pupils with an approving 
smile. 

" Wildcats to purr npon the hearth, and Indians to 
go to school ! " quoth MacLean. " Were yon taught 
here, Hugon, aBd did you play so sadly?" 

The trader, his head held very high, drew oat a 
lai^ and bedizened snuffbox, and took enuff with 
ostentation. ''My father was of a great tribe — I 
would say a great house — in the oonntry called 
France," he explained, with dignity. "Ob, he was 
of a very great name indeed 1 His blood was — what 
doyoucallit? — blue. I am the son of my father : I 
am a Frenchman. Sienf My father dies, haTtng 
always kept me with him at Monacan-Town ; and 
when they have laid him full length in the ground. 
Monsieur le Marquis caUs me to him. 'Jean,' says 
be, and his voice is like the ice in the stream, ' Jean, 
yon have ten years, and your father — may le bon 
Dieu pardon his sins ! : — faas left his wishes regarding 
yon and money for your maintenance. To-morrow 
Messieurs de Sailly and de Breuil go down the river 
to talk of affairs with the English Grovemor. Yon 
will go with them, and they will leave you at the 
Indian school which the English have built near to 
the great college in their town of WUliamsburgb. 
There yon will stay, learning all that Englishmen can 
teacb yon, nntil you have eighteen years. Come back 
to me then, and with the money left by your father 
yon shall be fitted ont as a trader. Go I* . . . Yes, 
I went to school here ; bat I learned fast, and did not 



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forget the thiDgB I learned, and I played with the 
English boys — there being no scholars from Frimce 
— on the other side of the pasture." 

He waved his hand toward an irruption of laughing, 
ehoating figures from the north wing of the college. 
The white man under the tree had been quietly 
observant of the two wayfarers, and he now rose to 
his feet, and oame over to the rail fence against which 
tbey leaned. 

" Ha, Jean Hii^n I " he said pleasantly, toaclung 
with his thin white hand the brown one of the trader. 
" I thought it had l»een my old scholar ! Canst say 
the belief and the Commandments yet, Jean ? Yon- 
der great fellow with the ball is Meshawa, — Meshawa 
that was a little, little fellow when yon went away. 
All yoar other playmates are gone, — though you did 
not play much, Jean, but gloomed and gloomed because 
you must stay this aide of the meadow with your own 
color. Will you not cross the fence and sit awhile 
with your old master? " 

As he spoke he regarded with a humorous smile the 
dusty glories of his sometime pupil, and when he had 
come to an end he turned and made as if to beckon to 
the Indian with the ball. But Hugon drew his hand 
away, straightened himself, and set bis face tike a 
flint toward the town. " I am sorry, I have no time 
to^lay,'* he said stiffly. " My friendand I have busi- 
ness in town with men of my own color. My color is 
white. I do not want to see Meshawa or the others. 
I have forgotten them.'* 

He tamed away, but a thought striking him his face 
bnghtened, and plunging his hand into his pocket he 
^ain brought forth his glittering store. " Nowadays 
I have money," he said grandly. " It used to be that 



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UACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 12S 

Indian braves brought Meshawa and the others pre- 
sents, because they were the sons of their great men. 
1 was the son of a great man, too ; but be was not In- 
dian and be was lying in his grave, and no one brought 
me gifts. Kow I wish to give presents. Here are ten 
coins, master. Give one to each Indian boy, the 
largest to Meshawa." 

The Indian teacher, Charles Griffin by name, looked 
with a whimsical face at the silver pieces laid arow 
upon the top raiL " Very well, Jean," he said. " It 
is good to give of thy substance. Meshawa and the 
others will have a feast. Yes, I will remember to tell 
them to whom they owe it. Good-day to yon both." 

The meadow, the solemnly playing Indians, and 
their gentle teacher were left behind, and the two 
men, passing the long college all astare with windows, 
the Indian school, and an expanse of grass starred 
with butteroaps, came into Duke of Gloucester Street. 
Broad, nnpaved, deep in dust, shaded upon its ragged 
edges by mulberries and poplars, it ran without shadow 
of turning from the gates of William and Mary to the 
wide sweep before the Capitol. Houses bordered it, 
flush with the street or set back in fragrant gardens ; 
other and narrower ways opened from it; half way 
down its length wide greens, where the buttercups 
were thick in the grass, stretched north and south. 
Beyond these greens were more houses, more mulber- 
ries and poplars, and finally, closing the vista, the 
brick facade o£ the Capitol. 

The two from Fair View plantation kept their for- 
est gait ; for the trader was in a hurry to fulfill his 
part of tbe bargain, which was merely to exhibit and 
value the ekins. There was an ordinary in Nicholson 
Street that was to his liking. Sailors gamed there, 



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aod other traders, and half a d<aen yoonger sons <rf 
broken gentlemen. It was as cleanly dining in its 
chief room as in the woods, and the aqua vitse, if bad, 
was cheap. In good humor with himself, and by na- 
ture lavish with his earnings, he offered to mahe the 
storekeeper his guest for the day. The latter curtly 
declined the invitation. He had bread and meat in 
his wallet, and wanted no drink but water. He would 
dine beneath the trees on the market green, woold fin- 
ish his business in town, and be half way back to the 
plantation while the trader — being his own man, with 
no fear of hue and cry if he were missed — was still 
at hazard. 

This question settled, the two kept each other com- 
pany for several hours longer, at the end of which 
time they issued from the store at which the greater 
part of their business had been transacted, and went 
their several ways, — Hugon to the ordinary in Nich- 
olson Street, and MacLean to bis dinner beneath the 
ayoamores on the green. When the frugal meal had 
been eaten, the latter recrossed the sward to the street, 
and took up again the round of his commissions. 

It was after three by the great clock in the cupola 
of the Capitol when he stood before the door of Alex- 
ander Ker, the silversmith, and found entrance made 
difficult by the serried shoulders of half a dozen young 
men standing within the store, laughing, and making 
bantering speeches to some one hidden from the High- 
lander's vision. Presently an appealing voice, fol- 
lowed by a low cry, proclaimed that the some one was 
a woman. 

MacLean had a lean and wiry strength which bad 
stood him in good stead upon more than one occasion 
in his checkered career. He now drove an arm like 



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MACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 137 

a bar of iron between two broaclcloth ooats, sent the 
wearers thereof to right and left, and found himBelf 
one of an inner ring and facing Mistress Trneh)ve 
Taberer, who stood at bay agamst the silversmith's 
long table. One arm was around the boy who had 
rowed her to the Fair View store a week i^one ; with 
the other she was defending her face from the attack 
of a beribboned gallant desirous of a kise. The boy, 
a slender, delicate lad of fourteen, struggled to free 
himself from his sister's restraining arm, his face 
white with passion and his breath coming in gaspa. 
" Let me go, Truelove t " he commanded. " If I am 
a Friend, I am a man as well ! Thou fellow with the 
shoulder knots, thee shall pay dearly for thy inso- 
lence I " 

Truelove tightened her hold. " Ephraim, Ephraim I 
If a man compel thee to go with him a mile, thee is 
to go with him twain ; if he take thy eloak, thee is to 
give him thy coat also ; if he — Ah I " She buried 
her profaned cheek in her arm and b^an to cry, but 
very softly. 

Her tormentors, flushed with wine and sworn to ob- 
tain each one a kiss, laughed more loudly, and one 
young rake, with wig and ruffles awry, lurched for- 
ward to take the place of the coxcomb who had scored. 
Ephraim wrenched himself free, and making for this 
gentleman might have given or received bodily injury, 
had not a heavy hand falling upon his shoulder stopped 
him in mid-oareer. 

"Stand aside, boy," said MaoLean, "This quar- 
rel 's mine by virtue of my making it so. Mistress 
Truelove, you shall have no further annoyance. Now, 
you Lowland cowards that cannot see a flower bloom 
bat yon wish to trample it ia the mire, come taste the 



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128 AUDBJ£r 

grmind yourself, and be tanght Uiat the flower is oat 
of Teaeht" 

As be spoke be stepped before tbe Quakeress, wett- 
poulesB, but with his eyes like steel. The half dozen 
spendthrifts and ne'er-do-weels whom be faced paused 
but long enough to see that this newly arrived obam- 
pion had oidy his bare bands, and was, by token of 
his dress, nndoubtedly their inferior, before setting 
npon him with drunken laughter and the loudly avoweil 
purpose of administering a drubbing. The one that 
came first be sent rolling to the floor. " Another for 
Hector I " he said coolly. 

The silrersmith, ensconced in safety behind the table, 
wrung his hands. " Sirs, sirs I Take your quarrel 
into the street t 1 11 no hare fighting in my store. 
What did ye rm in here for, ye Quaker baggage? 
LoshI did ye ever see tbe like of that I Here, boy, 
ye can get through the window. Bin for the consta- 
ble I Kin, I tell ye, or there 'II be murder done I " 

A gentleman who had entered tbe store nnobserved 
drew his rapier, and with it struck up a heavy cane 
which was in the act of descending for the second time 
upon the head of the unlucky Scot. , " What is all 
this ? " he asked quietly. " Fire men against one, — 
that is hardly fair play. Ah, I see there were six ; I 
had overlooked the gentleman on the floor, who, I 
hope, is only stunned. Five to one, — the odds are 
heavy. Perhaps I can make them less so." With a 
smile npon his lips, he stepped backward a footer two 
until he stood with the weaker side. 

Kow, had it been the constable who so suddenly 
appeared npon the scene, the probabilities are that the 
fight, both sides having warmed to it, would, despite 
t^ tenors of the lav, have been earned to a finish. 



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MACLEAN TO THE RESCUE 120 

Bat it waa not the constable; it wae a gentleman 
recently letumed from England, and become in tlie 
c^es of the youth of WiUiamsbnrgh the glass of fash* 
Um and the mould of form. The youngster with the 
shoulder koots had copied color and width of ribbon 
from a suit which this gentleman had worn at the 
Palace ; the rake with the wig awry, who passed for a 
wit, had done him the honor to learn by heart portions 
of his play, and to repeat (without quotation marks) a 
number of his epigrams ; while the pretty fellow whose 
oane he had stntok op practiced night and morning 
before a mirror his bow and manner of presenting his 
snuffbox. A fourth ruffler desired office, and cared 
not to offend a prospeotire Councilor. There was 
rumor, too, of a grand entertainment to be given at 
Fair View ; it was good to stand well with the law, 
but it was imperative to do so with Mr. Marmaduke 
Haward. Their hands fell ; they drew back a pace, 
and the wit made himself spokesman. Boses were 
rare so early in the year ; for him and his companions, 
they had but wished to compliment those that bloomed 
in the cheeks of the pretty Quakeress. This servant 
fellow, breathing fire like a dr^on, had taken it npon 
himself to defend the roses, — which likely enough 
were grown for him, — and so had been about to bring 
upon himself merited chastisement. However, since it 
was Mr. Marmaduke Haward who pleaded for him — 
A full stop, a low bow, and a flourish. " Will Mr. 
Haward honor me ? 'T is right Macouba, and the box 
— if the author of ' The Pnppet Show * would deign 
to accept it " — 

"Sather to change with you, sir," said the other 
urbanely, and drew out his own chased and medal- 
lionedbox. 



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130 AUDREY 

The gentleman upon the floor had utnr gotten nn- 
steadily to his feet. Mr. Haward took snuff with each 
<^ the six ; asked after the father of one, the hrother 
of another ; delicately intimated his pleasure in find- 
ing the noble order of Mohocks, that had lately died 
in London, resurrected in Virginia ; and fairly bowed 
the flattered youths out of the store. He stood for a 
moment upon the threshold watching them go trinm- 
phantly, if unsteadily, up the street ; then turned to 
the interior of the store to find MacLean seated upon 
a stool, with his head against the table, submitting 
with a smile of pure content to the ministrations of 
the dove-like mover of the late turmoil, who with 
trembling fingers was striving to bind her kerchief 
about a great out in his forehead. 



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CHAPTER X 
HAWABD AND E7ELTN 

MacLeas put aside witli mncli gendeneas the 
hands of his surgeon, and, rising to his feet, answered 
the question in Haward's eyes by producing a slip of 
paper and gravely proffering it to the man whom he 
serred. Haward took it, read it, and banded it back ; 
then turned to tbe Quaker maiden. " Mistress Tru^ 
love Taberer," be said courteously. *' Are you staying 
in town ? If yon will tell me where yon lodge, I will 
myself conduct you thither." 

Tmelove shook her head, and slipped her hand into 
that of her brother Ephraim. " I thank thee, friend," 
she said, with gentle dignity, " and thee, too, Angos 
MacLean, thongb I grieve that thee sees not that it is 
not given us to meet evil with evil, nor to withstand 
force with force. Ephraim and I can now go in peace. 
I thank thee again, friend, and thee." She gave her 
hand first to Haward, then to MacLean. The former, 
knowing the fashion of tbe Quakers, held the small 
fingers a moment, then let them drop ; tbe latter, 
knowing it, too, raised them to his lips and imprinted 
Qpon them an impassioned kiss. Truelove blushed, 
then frowned, last of all drew her hand away. 

With the final glimpse of her gray skirt the High- 
lander came baek to the present. " Singly I could 
have answered for them all, one after the other/' he 



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132 AUDBET 

said stiffly. " Together they had the advantage. I 
pay my debt and give you thanks, mr." 

" That is an ugly cat across your forehead," replied 
Haward. " Mr. Ker had best bring you a basin of 
water. Or stay 1 I am going to my lodging. Come 
with me, and Juba shall dress the wound properly." 

MacLean turned his keen blue eyes upon him. 
" Am I to understand that you give me a comniaiid, 
or that you extend to me an invitation ? In the latter 
case, I should prefer " — 

" Then take it as a command," said Haward imper- 
turbahly. *' I wish your company. Mr. Eer, good- 
day ; I will buy the piece of plate which you showed 
me yesterday." 

The two moved down the room tt^^ether, but at the 
door MacLean, with his face set like a flint, stood aside, 
and Haward passed out first, then waited for the other 
to come up with him. 

" When I drink a cup I drain it to the dregs," said 
the Soot. " I walk behind the man who commands 
me. The way, you see, is not broad enough for yoa 
and me and hatred." 

"Then let hatred 1^ behind," answered Haward 
coolly. " I have negroes to walk at my heels when I 
go abroad. I take you for a gentleman, accept your 
enmity an it please you, but protest against standing 
here in the hot sunshine." 

With a shrug MacLean joined him. " As yon 
please," he said. " I have in spirit moved with yon 
throngh London streets. I never thought to walk 
with yon in the flesh." 

It was yet warm and bright in the street, the dust 
thick, the air heavy with the odors of the May. Ha- 
ward and Macljean walked in silence, each as to the 



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HA WARD AND EVELYN 1S3 

other, one as to the world at lai^. Now aod again 
the Vii^nian most stop to bow profoundly to ourtay- 
ing ladies, or to take snuff with some portly Counoilor 
or less stately Burgess who, coming from the Capitol, 
chanced to overtafce them. When he paused his store- 
keeper paused also, bat, having no notice taken of him 
beyond a glance to discern his quality, needed neither 
a supple back nor a ready smile. 

Haward lodged npon Palace Street, in a square 
brick house, lived in by an ancient couple who could 
remember Puritan rule in Virginia, who had served 
Sir William Berkeley, and had witnessed the homing 
of Jamestown by Bacon. There was a grassy yard to 
the house, and the path to the door lay through an 
alley of lilacs, purple and white. The door was open, 
and EEaward and MaoLean, entering, crossed the ball, 
and going into a lai^, low room, into which the late 
snnshine was streaming, found the negro Juba setting 
cakes and wine upon the table. 

*' This gentleman hath a broken head, Jnba," said 
the master. " Bring water and linen, and bind it up 
for him." 

As he spoke he laid aside hat and rapier, and mo- 
tioned MacLean to a seat by the window. The latter 
obeyed the gesture in silence, and in silence snbmitted 
to the ministrations of the negro. Haward, sitting at 
the table, waited until the wound bad been dressed ; 
then with a wave of the band dismissed the black. 

" You would take nothing at my hands the other 
day," he said to the grim figure at the window. 
" Change your mind, my friend, — or my foe, — and 
come sit and drink with me." 

MacLean reared himself from his seat, and went 
stiffly over to the table. " I have eaten and drunken 



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vith an enemy before to-day," be sud. " Once I met 
Ewtn Mor MackiDDon upon a mountam side. He bad 
oatcake in his sporran, and I a flask of usquebaugh. 
We coached in the beatber, and ate and drank to- 
gether, and then we rose and fought. I should have 
slain him but that a dozen Mackinuons came up the 
glen, and be turned and fled to them for cover. Here 
I am in an alien land ; a thousand fierj crosses would 
not bring one clansman to my side ; I cannot figbt my 
foe. Wherefore, then, should I take favors si his 
bands?" 

" Why should you be my foe ? " demanded Haward. 
" Look you, now I There was a lime, I suppose, when 
I was an insolent youngster like any one of those who 
lately set upon you ; but now I call myself a philoso- 
pher and man of a world for whose opinions I care 
not overmuch. My coat is of fine cloth, and my shirt 
of bolland ; your shirt is lockram, and you wear no 
coat at all : ergo, saith a world of pretty fellows, we 
are beings of separate planets. 'As the cloth is, the 
man is,' — to which doctrine I am at times heretic. I 
have some store of yellow metal, and spend my days 
in ridding myself of it, — a feat which you have ac- 
complished. A goodly number of acres is also counted 
unto me, but in the end my holding and yonr holding 
will measure the same. I walk a level road; you 
have met with your precipice, and, bruised by the 
fall, yon move along stony ways ; but through the 
same gateway we go at last. Fate, not I, put yoo 
here. Why should you hate me who am of your 
order ? " 

MacLean left the table, and twice walked the 
length of the room, slowly and with knitted brows. 
** If you mean the world-wide order, — the order of 



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HAWABD AND EVELYN 136 

gentlemen," — he said, comings to a pause vitb the 
breadth of the table between him and Haward, " we 
may have that ground in common. The rest is debat- 
able land. I do not take you for a sentimentalist or 
a redresser of wrongs. I am your storekeeper, pur- 
chased with that same yellow metal of which yon so 
busily rid yourself ; and your storekeeper I shall re- 
main until tJie natural death of my term, two years 
hence. We are not countrymen ; we own different 
kings ; I may once have walked your level road, but 
you have never moved in the stony ways; my eyes 
are blue, while yours are gray ; you love your melting 
Southern music, and I take no joy save in the pipes ; 
I dare swear you like the smell of lilies which I can- 
not abide, and prefer fair hair in women where I 
would choose the dark. There is no likeness between 
us. Why, then " — 

Haward smiled, and drawii^ two glasses toward 
him slowly filled them with wine. " It is true," he 
said, " that it is not my intention to become a peti- 
tioner for the pardon of a rebel to his serene and 
German Majesty the King ; tme also that I like tfae 
fr^ranoe of tfae lily. I have my fancies. Say that 
I am a man of whim, and that, livii^ in a lonely house 
set in a Sahara of tobacco fields, it is my whim to de- 
sire the acquaintance of the only genUeman within 
some miles of me. Say that my fancy hath been 
caught by a picture drawn for me a week ^one ; 
that, being a philosopher, I play with the idea that 
your spirit, knife in hand, walked at my elbow for ten 
years, and I knew it not. Say that the idea has for 
me a curious fascination. Say, finally, that I plume 
myself that, given the chance, I might break down 
this aiiy hatred." 



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He set down the bottle, and pushed one of the 
brimming glasses across tbe table. " I should like to 
make trial of my strength," he said, with a laugh. 
" Come I I did you a service to-day ; in your turn 
do me a pleasure." 

MacLean dragged a chair to the table, and sat 
down. " I will drink with you," he said, " and forget 
for an hour. A man grows tired — It is Burgundy, 
is it not ? Old Borlum and I emptied a bottle between 
us, the day he went as hosb^ to Wills ; since then I 
have not tasted wine. 'T is a pretty color." 

Haward lifted his glass. " I drink to yonr future. 
Freedom, better days, a stake in a virgin land, friend- 
ship with a sometime foe." He bowed to his guest 
and drank. 

" In my country," answered Macljean, " where we 
would do most honor, we drink not to life, but to 
death. Crioch onarach / Like a gentleman may 
you die." He drank, and sighed with pleasure. 

"The King!" said Haward. There was a china 
bowl, filled with red anemones, npon the table. Mac- 
Lean drew it toward him, and, pressing aside the 
mass of bloom, passed his glass over the water in the 
bowL " The King I with all my heart," he said im- 
perturbably. 

Haward poured more wine. "I have toasted at 
the Kit-Kat many a piece of brocade and lace less 
fair than yon bit of Quaker gray that cost you a 
broken head. Shall we drink to Mistress Tmelove 
Taberer?" 

By now the Biii^undy had warmed the heart and 
loosened tbe tongue of the man who had not tasted 
wine since the surrender of Preston. " It is but a 
mile from the store to her father's house," he said. 



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HAWARD AND EVELYN 137 

" Sometimes on Sundays I go up Uie cr«ek upon tlie 
Fair View side, and when I am over agiunat the bonse 
I holloa. Ephraim comes in his boat and rows me 
across, and I stay for an hour. They are Btrange 
folk, the Quakers. In her sight and in that of her 
people I am as good a man as you. ' Friend Angus 
MacLean,' ' Friend Marmaduke Haward,' — world's 
wealth and world's rank quite beside the question." 

He drank, and commended the wine. Haward 
struck a silver bell, and bade Juba bring another 
bottle. 

" When do you come again to the. house at Fair 
View ? " asked tho storekeeper. 

" Very shortly. It is a lonely place, where ghosts 
bear me company. I hope that now and then, when 
I ask it, and when the duties of your day are ended, 
you will come help me exorcise them. You shall find 
welcome and good wine." He spoke very courte- 
ously, and if he saw the humor of the situation his smile 
betrayed him not. 

MacLean took a flower from the bowl, and plucked 
at its petals with nervous fingers. "Do you mean 
that 7 " he asked at last. 

Haward leaned across the table, and their eyes met 
" On my word I do," said the Virginian. 

The knocker on the house door sounded loudly, and 
a moment later a woman's clear voice, followed by a 
man's deeper tones, was heard in the hall. 

" More guests," said Haward lightly. " You are a 
Jacobite ; I drink my chocolate at St. James' Coffee 
House ; the gentleman approaching — despite his 
friendship for Orrery and for the Bishop of Roches- 
ter— is but a Hanover Tory; but the lady, — the 
lady wears only white roses, and every 10th of June 
makes a birthday feast." 



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The storekeeper rose hastily to take his leave, but 
was prevented both by Haward'a restrainicg gesture 
and by the entrance of the two visitors who were now 
mhered in by the grinning Juba. Haward stepped 
forward. " You are very welcome, ColoneL Evelyn, 
this is kind. Your woman told me this morning that 
yon were not well, elae " — 

" A migraine," she answered, in her clear, low voice. 
" I am better now, and my father desired me to take 
the Mr with him." 

" We return to Westover to-morrow," said that 
sprightly gentleman. " Evelyn is like David of old, 
and pines for water from the spring at home. It also 
appears that the many houses and thronged streets of 
this town weary her, who, poor child, is used to an 
Arcady called XiOndon ! When will you come to as 
at Westover, Marmaduke ? " 

*' I cannot tell," Haward answered. " I must first 
put my own bouse in order, so that I may in my turn 
entertain my friends." 

As be spoke he moved aside, so as to include in 
the company MacLean, who stood beside the table. 
*' Evelyn," he said, " let me make known to you — 
and to yon, Colonel — a Scots gentleman who hath 
broken his spear in his tilt with fortune, as bath been 
the luck of many a gallant man before him. Mistress 
Evelyn Byrd, Colonel Byrd — Mr. MacLean, who 
was an officer in the Highland force taken at Preston, 
and who has been for some years a prisoner of war in 
Virginia." 

The lady's curtsy was low ; the Colonel bowed as 
to his friend's friend. If his eyebrows went up, and 
if a smile twitched the comers of his lips, the falling 
cnrls of his periwig hid from view these tokens of 



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HAWABD AND EVELYN 139 

amused wonder. MacLean bowed somewhat stiffly, 
as one grown rusty in such matters. " I am in addi- 
tion Mr. Marmaduke Haward's storekeeper," he said 
succinotly, then turned to the master of Fair View. 
" It grows late," he announced, " and I must be back 
at the store to-night. Have yon any message for 
Sannderson ? " 

"None," answered Haward. " I go myself to Fair 
View to-morrow, and then I shall ask you to drink 
with me i^in." 

As he spoke he held out bis hand. MacLean looked 
at it, sighed, then touched it with his own. A gleam 
as of wintry laughter came into his blue eyes. "I 
doubt that I shall have to get me a new foe," he said, 
with regret in his voice. 

When he bad bowed to the lady and to her father, 
and had gone out of the room and down the lilac- 
bordered path and through the gate, and when the 
three at the window had watched him turn into Duke 
of Gloucester Street, the master of Westover looked 
at the master of Fur View and burst out laughing. 
'* Ludwell hath for an overseer the scapegrace younger 
son of a baronet ; and there are three brothers of an 
excellent name under indentures to Robert Carter. I 
have at Westover a gardener who annually makes the 
motto of bis hoase to spring in pease and asparagus. 
I have not had him to drink with me yet, and t' other 
day I heard Ludwell give to the baronet's son a 
hound's rating." 

, *' I do not drink with the name," said Haward 
coolly. " I drink with the man. The churl or cow- 
ard may pass me by, but the gentleman, though his 
hands be empty, I stop." 

The other laughed again ; then dismissed the qaes- 



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tioD with a wave of his hand, and pnlled out a great 
gold wateb with cornelian seals. " Carter swears that 
Dr. Contesse hath a specific that is as sovereign for 
the gout as is St. Andrew's cross for a rattlesnake 
bite. I Ve had twinges lately, and the doctor lives 
hard by. Evelyn, will you rest here while I go peti* 
tion .^IsculapiuB ? Haward, when I have the recipe I 
will return, and impart it to you against the time 
when you need it. No, no, child, stay where you are ! 
I will be back anon." 

Having waved aside his daughter's faint protest, 
the Colonel departed, — a gallant 6gure of a man, 
with a pretty wit and a heart that was benevolently 
gay. As he went down the path he paused to gather 
a sprig of lilac. " Westover — Fair View," he said 
to himself, and smiled, and smelled the lilac ; then — 
thoagh his ills were somewhat apocryphal — walked 
off at a gonty pace across the butteroup^prinkled 
green toward the house of Dr. Contesse. 

Haward and Evelyn, left alone, kept silence for a 
time in the quiet room that was filled with late sun- 
shine and the fragrance of flowers. He stood by the 
window, and she sat in a great chair, with her hands 
folded in her lap, and her eyes upon t^m. When 
silence had become more loud than speech, she turned 
in her seat and addressed herself to him. 

" I have known you do many good deeds," she said 
slowly. " That gentleman that was here is your sei^ 
.vant, is he not, and an exile, and unhappy? And 
you sent him away comforted. It was a generous 
thing." 

Haward moved restlessly. "A generous thing," 
he answered. " Ay, it was generous. I can do such 
tilings at times, and why I do them who can tell ? 



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HA WARD AND EVELYN 141 

Not 1 1 Do you think that I care for that grim 
Highlander, who drinks my death in phice of my 
healtii, who is of a nation tliat I dislike, and a party 
that is not mine 7 " 

She shook her head. " I do not know. And yet 
you helped him." 

Haward left the window, and came and sat heside 
her. "Yes, I helped him. I am not sure, but I 
think I did it because, when first we met, he told me 
that he hated me, and meant the thing he said. It is 
mj humor to fix my own position in men's minds ; to 
lose the thing I have that I may gain the thing I have 
not ; to overcome, and never prize the victory ; to 
hunt down a quarry, and feel no ardor in the chase ; 
to strain after a goal, and yet care not if I never 
reach it." 

He took her fan in his hand, and fell to counting 
the slender ivory sticks. " I tread the stage as a fine 
gentleman," he said. " It is the part for which I was 
oast, and I play it well with proper mien and gait. I 
was not asked if I would like the part, but I think 
that I do like it, as much as I like anything. Seeing 
that I must play it, and that there is that within me 
which cries out against slovenliness, I play it as an 
artist should. Magnanimity goes with it, does it not, 
and generosity, courtesy, care for the thing which is, 
and not for that which seems? Why, then, with 
these and other qualities I strive to endow the charac- 
ter." 

He closed the fan, and, leaning back in his chair, 
shaded his eyes with his hand. " When the lights 
are out," he said ; " when forever and a night the 
actor bids the stage farewell ; when, stripped of mask 
and tinsel, be gobs home to that Auditor who set him 



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142 ADPEET 

bis part, then perhaps be will be told wbat manner of 
man be is. The glaes tbat now he dresses before tells 
bim not ; but he thinks a truer glass wonld show a 
sbrimken figure." 

He sat in silence for a moment ; then laughed, and 
gave ber back ber fan. " Am I to oome to WestAver, 
ErelTu ? " he asked. " Yoar father presses, and I 
have not known wbat answer to make bim." 

*'Yoa will give us pleasure by your coming," she 
stud gently and at once. "My father wishes your 
advice as to the ordering of his library ; and you 
know tbat my pretty stepmother likes you well." 

" Will it please you to have me come ? " he asked, 
with his eyes upon her face. 

She met his gaze very quietly. " Why not ? " she 
answered simply. " You will help me in my flower 
garden, and sing with me in the evening, as of old." 

"Evelyn," he said, "if what I am about to say to 
yon distresses you, lift your hand, and I will cease to 
speak. Since a day and an hour in the woods yonder, 
I have been thinking much. I wish to wipe that hour 
from your memory as I wipe it from mine, and to be- 
gin afresh. You are the fairest woman tbat I know, 
and the best I heg you to accept my reverence, 
hom^e, love ; not the boy's love, perhaps ; perhaps 
not the love that some men have to squander, but my 
love. A quiet love, a lasting trust, deep pride and 
pleasure " — 

At ber gesture be broke off, sat in silence for a 
moment, then rising went to the window, and with 
slightly contracted brows stood looking out at the 
sunshine that was slipping away. Presently be was 
aware tbat she stood beside him. 

She was holding out ber hand. '* It is that of a 



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HAWARD AND EVELYN 143 

friend," she said. ** No, do not kiss it, for that is the 
act of a lover. And yon are not my lover, — oh, not 
yet, not yet ! '* A soft, exquisite blush stole over her 
face and neck, but she did not lower her lovely can- 
did eyes. " Perhaps some day, some summer day at 
Westover, it will all be different," she breathed, and 
turned away. 

Haward cangbt her hand, and bending pressed his 
lips upon it. "It is different now!" he cried. "Next 
week I shall come to Westover ! " 

He led her back to the great chair, and presently 
she asked some question as to the house at Fair View. 
He plunged into an account of the eases of goods 
which had followed him from England by the Falcon, 
and which now lay in the rooms that were yet to be 
swept and garnished ; then spoke lightly and whimsi- 
cally of the solitary state in which he must live, and 
of the entertainments which, to be in the Virginia 
fashion, he must give. While he talked she sat and 
watched him, with the faint smile upon her lips. The 
sunshine left the floor and the wall, and a dankness 
from tbe long grass and the closing flowers and the 
heavy trees in the adjacent churchyard stole into the 
room. With the coming of tbe dusk conversation 
languished, and the two sat in silence until the return 
of the Colonel. 

If that gentleman did not light the darkness like a 
star, at least his entrance into a room invariably pro- 
duced the effect of a sudden accession of wax lights, 
very fine and clear and bright. He broke a jeat or 
two, bade laughing fareweU to the master of Fair 
View, and carried off his daughter upon his arm. 
Haward walked with them to the gate, and came 
back alone, stepping thoughtfully between the lilao 
bushes. 



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144 AUDREY 

It was not until Juba had brought candleB, and be 
bad takes bis seat at table before tbe half-emptied 
bottle of wine, that it came to Haward that be had 
wished to tell Evelyn of tbe brown girl who bad run 
for the guinea, but bad forgotten to do so. 



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CHAPTER XI 

AUDBET OF THE QAHDEK 

The creek that ran between Fairriew and the 
glebe lands waa narrow and deep; upon it, moored 
to a stake driven into a bit of marsliy ground below 
tbe orcbard, lay a crazy boat belonging to the minis- 
ter. To this boat, of an early, sunny morning, came 
Audrey, and, standing erect, pole in band, pushed 
out from Uie reedy bank into the slow-moving stream. 
It moved so Blowly and was so clear that its depth 
seemed the blue depth of the sky, with now and then 
a tranquil cloud to be glided over. The banks were 
low and of the greenest grass, save where they sank 
still lower and reeds abounded, or where some colored 
bush, heavy with bloom, bent to meet its reflected 
image. It was eo fair that Audrey began to sing as 
she went down the stream ; and without knowing 
why she chose it, she sang a love song learned out of 
one of Darden's ungodly books, a plaintive and pas- 
sionate lay addressed by some cavalier to his mistress 
of an hour. She sang not loudly, but very sweetly ; 
carelessly, too, and as if to herself ; now and then 
repeating a line twice or maybe thrice ; pleased with 
the sweet melancholy of tbe notes, but not thinking 
overmuch of the meaning of tbe words. They died 
upon her lips when Hugon rose from a lair of reeds 
and called to her to stop, "Come to the shore, 



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146 AUDREY 

ma'm'selle 1 " he cried. " See, I have hronght you a 
ribboD from the town. Behold I" and he fluttered 
a crimson streamer. 

Audrey caught her hreaUi ; then gazed, reassured, 
at the five yards of water between her and the bank. 
Had Hugon stood there in his hunting dress, she would 
hare felt them no security ; but he was wearing his 
coat and breeches of fine cloth, his ruffled shirt, and 
his great black periwig. A wetting would not be to 
his mind. 

As she answered not, but went on her way, silent 
now, and with her slender figure bending with the 
motion of the pole, he frowned and sbru^ed ; then 
took up his pilgrimage, and with his light and swings 
ing stride kept alongside of the boat. The ribbon 
lay across his arm, and he turned it in the sunshine. 
" If you oome not and. get it," he wheedled, " I will 
throw it in the water." 

The angry tears sprang to Audrey's eyes. "Do 
so, and save me the trouble," she answered, and then 
was sorry that she had spoken. 

The red came into the swarthy cheeks of the man 
upon the bank. " You love me not," he stud. " Grood !. 
You have told me so before. But here I am ! " 

"Then here is a coward I" said Audrey. "I do 
not wish yon to walk there. I do not wish you to 
speak to me. Go back 1 " 

Hugon's teeth began to show. " I go not," he au' 
swered, with something between a snarl and a smirk. 
" I love yon, and I follow on your path, — like a 
lover." 

" Like an Indian I " cried the girL 

The arrow pierced the faeeL The face which he 
tamed upon her was the face oi a savage, made gro- 



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AUDREY OF THE GARDEN 147 

tesqne and horrible, as war-paint and featbers could 
not have made it, by tbe bushy black wig and the laoe 
cravat. 

" Audrey ! " he called. " Morning Light ! Sun- 
shine in the Dark ! Dancing Water ! Audrey that 
will not be called ' mademoiaelle ' nor have the woo- 
ing of the son of a French chief ! Then shall she 
have the wooing of the eon of a Monacan woman. I 
am a hunter. I will woo as they woo in the woods." 

Audrey bent to her pole, and made faster prt^reas 
down the creek. Her heart was hot and angry, and 
yet she was afnud. All dreadful things, all things that 
oppressed with horror, all things that turned one white 
and cold, so cold and still that one could not run 
away, were summed up for her in the word " Indian." 
To her the eyes of Hugon were basilisk eyes, — they 
drew her and held her ; and when she looked into 
them, she saw flames rising and bodies of murdered 
kindred ; then the mountains loomed above her again, 
and it was night-time, and she was alone save for the 
dead, and mad with fear and with the quiet. 

The green banks went by, and the creek began to 
. widen. " Where are you going ? " called the trader. 
" Wheresoever you go, at the end of your path stand 
my village and my wigwam. You cannot stay all 
day in that boat. If you come not back at the bidden 
hour, Darden's sqnaw will beat you. Come over. 
Morning Light, come over, and take me in your boat, 
and tie your hair with my gift. I will not hurt you. 
I will tell you the French love songs that my father 
Bang to my mother. I will speak of land that I have 
bought (oh, I have prospered, ma'm'selle 1), and of a 
house that I mean to build, and of a woman that I 
wish to put in the house, — a Sunshine in the Dark 



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148 AUDREY 

to greet me wlien I come from my hunting in the great 
forests beyond the falls, from my trading with the 
nation of ^e Tuscaroras, with the villages of the Mon- 
acans. Come over to me, Morning Light I " 

The creek widened and widened, then doubled a 
grassy cape all in the shadow of a towering sycamore. 
Beyond the point, crowning the low green slope of the 
bank, and topped with a shaggy fell of honeysuckle 
and ivy, began a red brick wall. Half way down its 
length it broke, and six shallow steps led up to an iron 
gate, through whose bars one looked into a garden. 
Gazing on down the creek past the farther stretch of 
the wall, the eye came upon the shining reaches of the 
river. * 

Audrey tnmed the boat's head toward the steps and 
the gate in the wall. The man on the opposite shore 
let fall an oath. 

" So you go to Fwr View house ! " he called across 
the stream. " There are only negroes there, unless " 
— be came to a pause, and his face changed again, and 
out of his eyes looked the spirit of some hot, ancestral 
French lover, cynical, suspicious, and jealously watch- 
ful — " unless their master is at home," he ended, and 
laughed. 

Audrey tonched the wall, and over a great iron 
hook projecting therefrom threw a looped rope, and 
fastened her boat. 

" I stay here until you come forth ! " swore Hugon 
from across the creek. " And then I follow you back 
to where you must moor the boat. And then I shall 
walk with yon to the minister's hoase. Until we meet 
again, ma'm'^e ! " 

Audrey answered not, but sped up the steps to the 
gate. A sick fear lest it should be locked possessed her ; 



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AUSKET OF THE GABDEN 149 

but it opened at her touch, disclosing a long, sunny 
path, paved with brick, and shut between lines of tall, 
thick, and smoothly clipped box. The gate clanged 
to behind her ; ten steps, and the boat, the creek, and 
the farther shore were bidden from her sight With 
this comparative bliss came a EaintnesB and a trem- 
bling that presently made her slip down upon the 
warm and sunny floor, and lie there, with ber face 
within her arm and the tears upon ber cheeks. The 
odor of tbe box wrapped her like a mantle ; a lizard 
glided past her ; somewhere in open spaces birds 
were singing ; finally a greyhound came down the 
path, and put its nose into tbe hollow of her hand. 

She rose to her knees, and ourled ber arm around 
the dog's neck ; then, with a long sigh, stood up, and 
asked of herself if this were the way to tbe house. 
She bad never seen tbe bouse at close range, had never 
been in this walled garden. It was from Williams- 
burgh that tbe minister had taken her to his borne, 
eleven years before. Sometimes from tbe river, in 
tiiose years, she had seen, rising above the trees, the 
steep roof and the upper windows ; sometimes upon 
the creek she had gone past the garden wall, and had 
smelled the flowers upon the other side. 

In her lonely life, with the beauty of the earth about 
ber to teaob her that there might be greater beauty 
that she yet might see ; with a daily round of toil and 
sharp words to ptisb her to that escape which lay in a 
world of dreams, she had entered that world, and 
thrived therein. It was a world that was as pure as 
a pearl, and more fantastic than an Arabian tale. 
She knew that when she died sbe could take nothing 
out of life with ber to beaven. But with this other 
world it was different, and all that she had or dreamed 



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of that was fair she carried tbrongh its portals. This 
house was thera. Long oh>sed, walled in, guarded by 
tall trees, seen at far intervals and from a distance, as 
through a glass darkly, it had become to her an en- 
chanted spot, about which played her quick fancy, but 
where her feet might never stray. 

But now the spell which had held the place in slum- 
ber was snapped, and her feet were set in its pleasant 
paths. She moved down the alley between the lines of 
box, and the greyhound went with her. The branches 
of a walnut-tree drooped heavily across the way ; when 
she had passed them she saw the house, square, dull 
red, bathed in sunshine. A moment, and the walk 
led her between sqnat pillars of living green into the 
garden out of the fairy tale. 

Dim, fragrant, and old time ; walled in ; here sun- 
shiny spaces, there cool shadows of fruit-trees ; broken 
by circles and squares of box ; green with the grass 
and the leaves, red and purple and gold and white 
with the flowers ; with birds singing, with the great 
silver river murmuring by without the wall at the foot 
of the terrace, with the voice of a man who sat beneath 
a cherry-tree reading aloud to himself, — such was the 
garden that she came upon, a young girl, and heavy at 
heart. 

She was so near that she could hear the words of 
the reader, and she knew the piece that he was read- 
ing ; for you must remember that she was not imtaught, 
and that Darden had books. 

" * When from the aenBer nlouda of fragraDce nil. 
And awellin^ ot^adh lift tbe rifling u>nl, 
One thong-ht of thee puts all the pomp to flight, 
Priests, tapera, tcmplea, swim before my dght' "— 

The greyhound ran from Audrey to the man who 



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AUDEEY OF THE GARDEN 151 

was reading these verses with taste and expression, 
and also with a smile half sad and half oynioaL He 
glanced from his pi^, saw the girl where she stood 
against the dark pillar of the box, tossed aside the 
book, and went to her down the grassy path between 
rows of nodding tulips. " Why, child ! " he said. 
" Did you come up like a flower ? I am glad to see 
you in my garden, little maid. Are there Indians 
without ? " 

At l^t, to Audrey, there were none within. She 
had been angered, sick at heart and sore afrud, 
but she was no longer so. In this world that she 
bad entered it was good to be alive ; she knew that 
she was safe, and of a sudden she felt that the sun- 
shine was very golden, the music very sweet. To Ha- 
ward, looking at her with a smile, she gave a folded 
paper which she drew from the bosom of her gown. 
"The minister sent me with it," she explained, and 
curtsied shyly. 

Haward took the paper, opened it, and fell to poring 
over the crabbed characters with which it was adorned. 
"Ay? Qratulateth himself that this fortunate parish 
hath at last for vestryman Mr. Marmaduke Haward ; 
knoweth that, seeing I am what I am, my influence 
will be paramount with said vestry ; commendeth him- 
self to my favor ; beg^tb that I listen not to charges 
made by a factious member anent a vastly minified 
occurrence at the French ordinary ; prayeth that he 
may shortly present himself at Fair View, and explain 
away certain calumnies with which his enemies have 
poisoned the ears of the Commissary ; hopeth that I 
am in good health ; and is my very obedient servant 
to command. Humph I " 

He let the paper flutter to the ground, and turned 



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1B2 AUDREY 

to Audrey with a kindly smile. " I am much af nud 
that this man of the church, whom I gave thee for 
guardian, child, is but a rascal, after all, and a wolf 
in sheep's clothing. But let him ^ hang while I show 
you my garden." 

Going closer, he glanced at her keenly ; then went 
nearer still, and touched her cheek with his forefinger. 
" You have been crying," he said. " There were In- 
dians, then. How many and how strong, An^rey ? " 

The dark eyes that met his were the eyes of the 
child who, in the darkness, through the com, had run 
from him, her helper. " There was one," she whis> 
pered, and looked over her shoulder. 

Haward drew her to the seat beneath the cherry- 
tree, and there, while he sat beside her, elbow on knee 
and chin on hand, watehing her, she told him of Hugon. 
It was so natural to tell him. When she had made an 
end of her halting, broken sentences, and he spoke to 
her gravely and kindly, she hung upon his words, and 
thought him wise and wonderful as a king. He told 
her that he would speak to Darden, and did not de- 
spair of persaading that worthy to forbid the trader 
his house. Also he told her that in this settled, plea- 
sant, every-day Vii^inia, and in the eighteenth century, 
a maid, however poor and humble, might not be mar- 
ried against her will. If this half-breed had threats 
to utter, there was always the law of the land. A few 
hours in the pillory or a taste of &e sherifF's whip 
might not be amiss. Finally, if the trader made his 
suit again, Audrey must let him know, and Monsieur 
Jean Hugon should be taught that he had another than 
a helpless, friendless girl to deal with. 

Audrey listened and was comforted, but the shadow 
did not quite leave her eyes. " He is waiting for me 



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AUDREY OP THE GAKDEN 163 

now," she said fearfnlly to Haward, who had not 
missed the shadow. *' He followed me down the 
creek, and is waiting over a^;iunBt the gate in ihe 
wall. When I go hack he will follow me again, and 
at last I will hare to cross to his side. And then he 
will go home with me, and make me listen to him. 
His eyes hum me, and when his hand touches me I 
see — I see " — 

Her frame shook, and she raised to his gaze a coun- 
tenance suddenly changed into Tragedy's own, *'I 
don't know why," she said, in a stricken voice, " but 
of them all that I kissed good-by that night I now see 
only Molly. I suppose she was about as old as I am 
when they killed her. We were always together. I 
can't remember her face very dearly ; only her eyes, 
and how red her lips were. And her hair : it came to 
her knees, and mine is just as long. For a long, long 
time after you went away, when I could not sleep be- 
oanse it was dark, or wlwn I was frightened or Mis- 
tress Deborah beat me, I saw them all ; but now I see 
only Molly, — Molly lying there dead." 

There was a silence in the garden, broken present^ 
by Haward. "Ay, Molly," he said absently. 

With his hand covering his lips and his eyes upon 
the ground, he fell into a brown study. Audrey sat 
very still for fear that she might distnrb him, who was 
so kind to her. A passionate gratitude filled her yonng 
heart ; she would have traveled round the world upon 
her knees to serve him. As for him, he was not think- 
ing of the mountain girl, the oread who, in the days 
when he was younger and his heart beat high, had 
caught his light fancy, tempting him from his com- 
rades back to tiie cabin in the valley, to look ^ain 
into her eyes uid touch the brown waves of her hair. 



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154 AUSRET 

She was aelies, and the memory of her stirred him 
not. 

At last he looked ap. "I myself will take yon 
home, child. This fellow shall not come near you. 
And cease to think of these gruesome things that hap- 
pened long ago. You are young and fair ; you should 
be happy. I will see to it that " — 

He broke off, and again looked thoughtfully at the 
ground. The hook which he had tossed aside was 
lying upon the grass, open at the poem which he had 
been reading. He stooped and raised the volume, and, 
closing it, lud it upon the bench beside her. Presently 
he laughed. " Come, child ! " he said. " You have 
youth. I begin to think my own not past recall. 
Come and let me show you my dial that I have just 
had put up." 

There was no load at Audrey's heart : the vision of 
Molly had passed ; the fear of Hugon was a dwindling 
cloud. She was safe in this old sunny garden, with 
harm shut without. And as a flower opens to the 
sunshine, so because she was happy she grew more 
fair. Audrey every day, Audrey of the infrequent 
speech and the wide dark eyes, the startled air, the 
shy, fugitive smiles, — that was not Audrey of the 
garden. Audrey of the garden had shining eyes, a 
wild elusive grace, laughter as silvery as that which 
had rung from her sister's lips, years agone, beneath 
the sugar-tree in the far-o£F blue mountains, quick 
gestures, qu^nt fancies which she feared not to speak 
out, the charm of mingled humili^ and spirit ; enough, 
in short, to make Audrey of the garden a name to 
conjure with. 

They came to the sun-dial, and leaned thereon. 
Aronn4 its riin were graved two lines from Heriick, 



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AUDREY OF THE GABDEN 166 

and Audrey traced the letters with her finger. " The 
philosophy is sound," remarked Haward, " and the 
advice worth the taking. Let ns go see if there are 
any roeebnds to gather from the bushes yonder. 
Damask buds ahoold look well against your hair, 
child." 

When they came to the toeebuslies he broke for 
her a few scarce^pened buds, and himself fastened 
them in the coils of her hair. Innocent and glad as 
she was, — glad even that he thought her fair, — ehe 
trembled beneath his touch, and knew not why she 
trembled. When the rosebuds were in place they 
went to see the clove pinks, and when they had seen 
the clove pinks they walked slowly up another alley 
of box, and across a grass plot to a side door of the 
house ; for he had said that he most show her in what 
great, lonely rooms he lived. 

Audrey measured the height and breadth of the 
house with her eyes. " It is a la^e place for one to 
live in alone," she said, and laughed. " There *s a 
book at the Widow Constance's ; Barbara once showed 
it to me. It is all about a pilgrim ; and there 's a 
picture of a great square house, quite like this, that 
was a giant's castle, — Giant Despiur. Good giant, 
eat me not I " 

Child, woman, spirit of the woodland, she passed 
before him into a dim, cool room, all littered with 
books. " My library," said Haward, with a wave of 
his hand. "But t^e curtains and pictures ate not 
hung, nor the books in place. Hast any schooling, 
little maid ? Canst read ? " 

Audrey flushed with pride that she could tell him 
that she was not ignorant ; not like Barbara, who 
could not read the gianf s name in the pilgrim book. 



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156 AUDREY 

" Tlie CTossroadB Bchoolmaster taught me," Bhe 
explained. " He faaa a soar in each hand, and is a 
very wicked man, but he knows more than the Com- 
miBsaty himself. The minister, too, has a onpboard 
filled with hooks, and he buys the new ones as the 
ships bring them in. When I have time, and Mis- 
tress Deborah will not let me go to the woods, I read. 
And I remember what I read. I conld" — 

A smile trembled upon her lips, and her eyes grew 
brighter. Fired by the desire that he should praise 
her learning, and in her very innocence bold as a 
Wortley or a Howe, she began to repeat the lines 
wluch he had been reading beneath the cherry-tree : — 
" ' WliBB fn>m the neiuei olondB of fngiance roll ' " — 

The rhythm of the words, the passion of the thought, 
the pleased surprise that she thought she read in his 
face, the gesture of his band, all spurred her on from 
lise to line, sentence to sentence. And now she was 
not herself, but that other woman, and she was giving 
voice to all her passion, all her woe. The room be- 
came a convent cell ; her r^^ed dress the penitent's 
trailing black. That Audrey, lithe of mind as of 
body; who in the woods seemed the spirit of the 
woods, in the garden the spirit of the garden, on the 
water the spirit of the water, — that this Audrey, in 
using the speech of the poet, should embody and be- 
come the spirit of that speech was perhaps, considering 
all things, not so strange. At any rate, and however 
her power came about, at that moment, in Fair View 
house, a great actress was speaking. 



The speaker lost a word, hesitated, became confused. 



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AUDREY OF THE GARDEN 157 

finally silenoe ; then the Audrey of a while before, 
standing with heaving bosom, shy as a fawn, fearful 
that she had not pleased him, after all. For if she 
had done so, sorely he would have told her as much. 
As it was, he had said bat one word, and that beneath 
his breath, " Eloisa I " 

It would seem that her fear was unfounded; for 
when be did speak, there were, God wot, sugar> 
jdums enough. And Audrey, who in her workaday 
world was always blamed, could not know that the 
praise that was so sweet was less wholesome than the 
blame. 

Leaving the Ubrary they went into the hall, and 
from the hall looked into great, echoing, half-furnished 
rooms. All about lay packing-cases, many of them 
open, with rich stuffs streaming from them. Orna- 
ments were huddled on tables, mirrors and pictures 
leaned their faces to the walls ; everywhere was dis- 
order. 

" The negroes are Careless, and to-day I held their 
hands," said Haward. " I must get some proper per- 
son to see to this gear." 

Up stairs and down they went through the house, 
that seemed very large and very still, and finally they 
came out of the great front door, and down the stone 
steps on to the terrace. Below them, sparkling in the 
sunshine, lay the river, the opposite shore all in a 
haze of light. " I must go home," Audrey shyly re- 
minded him, whereat he smiled assent, and they went, 
not through the box alley to the gate in the wall, but 
down the terrace, and out upon the hot brown boards 
of the landing. Haward, stepping into a boat, handed 
her to a seat in the stern, and himself took the oars. 
Leaving the landing, they oame to the creek and 



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entered it. Presently they were gliding beneath the 
red brick wall with the honeysuckle atop. On the 
opposite grassy shore, seated in a blaze of noon sun- 
shine, was Hugon. 

They in the boat took no notice. Haward, rowing, 
spoke evenly on, his theme himself aoid the gay and 
lonely life he had led these eleven years ; and Audrey, 
though at first sight of the waiting figure she had 
paled and trembled, was too safe, too happy, to give 
to trouble any part of this magic morning. She kept 
ber eyes on Haward's face, and almost foi^^ the man 
who bad risen from the grass and in silence was fol- 
lowing them. 

Now, had the trader, in his hunting shirt and leg- 
^Dgs, hjs moccasins and fur cap, been walking in the 
great woods, this silence, even with others in com- 
pany, would have been natural enough to his Indian 
blood ; but Monsieur Jean Hugos, in peruke and 
laced coat, walking in a civilized country, with words 
arplenty and an hot as fire-water in his heart, and none 
upOD his tongue, was a figure strange and sinister. 
He watched the two in the boat with an impassive 
face, and he walked like an Indian on an enemy's 
trail, so silently that he scarce seemed to breathe, so 
lightly that his heavy boots i&Hed to crush the flowers 
or the tender grass. 

Haward rowed on, telling Audrey stories of the 
town, of great men whose names she knew, and bean- 
tiful ladies of whom she had never heard; and she 
sat before him with her slim brown hands folded in 
her lap and the rosebuds withering in her hair, while 
through the reeds and the grass and the bushes of the 
bank over against them strode Hugon in his Blenheim 
wig and his wine-oolored coat. Well-nigh together 



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AUDRET OF THE GASDEN ISQ 

the throe reached the stafae driren in among the leeds, 
a hnadred yards below the minister's house. Haward 
fastened the boat, and, motioning to Aodro; to stay 
for the moment where she was, stepped ont apon the 
bank to confront the trader, who, walking steadily 
and silently as ever, was almost open them. 

But it was broad daylight, and Hngon, with his 
forest instincts, preferred, when he wished to speak 
to the point, to speak in the dark. He made no 
pause ; only looked with Ms fierce black eyes at the 
quiet, insouciant, fine gentleman standing with folded 
arms between him and the boat ; then passed on, 
going steadily up the creek toward the bend where 
the water left the open smiling fields and took to the 
forest. He never looked back, but went like a hnnter 
with his prey before him. Presently the shadows of 
the forest touched him, and Audrey and Haward were 
left alone. 

The latter laughed. " If hia course is of the 
quality of his lace — What, cowering, child, and the 
tears in your eyes I You were braver when you were 
not so tall, in those mountain days. Nay, no need to 
wet your shoe." 

He lifted her in his arms, and set her feet upon 
firm grass. " How long since I carried yon across a 
stream and up a dark hillside I " he said. *' And yet 
to-day it seems but yesternight ! Now, little maid, 
the Indian has mn away, and the path to the house is 
clear." 

In bis smoke-filled, untidy best room Darden sat at 
table, his drink beside bim, his pipe between his 
fingers, and open before him a book of jests, propped 
by a tome of divinity. His wife coming in from the 



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kitchen, he barrowed in the litter upon the table until 
he found an open letter, which he flung toward her. 
"The CommiBsary threatens again, damn himt" he 
said between smoke pufEs. " It seems that t' other 
night, when I was in my cups at the tarem, Le Neve 
and the fellow who has Ware Creek parish — I forget 
hie name — must needs come riding by. I was dicing 
with Paris. Hugon held the stakes. I dare say we 
kept not mam. And out of pare brotherly love and 
chanty, my good, kind gentlemen ride on to Williams- 
bnrgh on a tale-bearing errand I Is that child never 
coming back, Deborah? " 

" She 'a coming now," answered his wife, with her 
eyes upon the letter. *' I was watching from the 
npper window. He rowed her up the creek himself." 

The door opened, and Audrey entered the room. 
Darden turned heavily in his chair, and took the long 
pipe from between his teeth. " Well ? " he said. 
" You gare him my letter ? " 

Audrey nodded. Her eyes were dreamy ; the red 
of the buds in her hair had somehow stolen to her 
cheeks ; she could scarce keep her lips from smiling. 
" He bade me tell you to come to supper with him on 
Monday," she said. " And the Falcon that we saw 
come in last week brought furnishing for the great 
house. Oh, Mistress Deborah, the moBt beautiful 
thii^ 1 The rooms are all to be made fine ; and the 
negro women do not the work aright, and he wants 
some one to oversee them. He says that he has learned 
that in England Mistress Deborah was own woman to 
my Lady Squander, and so should know about hang- 
ings and china and the placing of furniture. And he 
asks that she come to Fair View morning after morn- 
ing until the house is in order. He wishes me to 



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AUDEEY OF THE GARDEN 161 

come, too. Mistress Deborah will mach oblige him, 
be sajB, and he will not forget her IdndDeas." 

Somewhat out of breath, but very happy, she looked 
with eager eyes from one guardian to the other. 
Darden emptied and refilled his pipe, scattering the 
ashee upon the book of jestB. " Very good," he said 
briefly. 

Into tlie thin vis^^ of the ex-waiting-woman, who 
had been happier at my Lady Squander's than in a 
Virginia parsonage, there crept a tightened smile. 
In her way, when she was not in a passion, she was 
fond of Audrey ; but, in temper or out of temper, she 
was fonder of the fine things which for a few days she 
might handle at Fair View house. And the gratitude 
of the master thereof might appear in coins, or in an 
order on his store for silk and lace. When, in her 
younger days, at Bath or in town, she bad served fine 
mistresses, she bad been given many a guinea for 
carrying a note or contriving an interview, and in 
changing her estate she had not changed her code of 
morals. " We must oblige Mr. Haward, of course," 
she Bud complacently. " I warrant you that I can 
give things an air I There 's not a parlor in this 
parish that does not set my teeth on edge I Now at 
my Lady Squander's "— She embarked npon re- 
minisoenoes of past splendor, checked only by her 
hoaband's impatient demand for dinner. 

Audrey, preparing to follow her into the kitchen, 
was stopped, as she would have passed the table, by 
the minister'B heavy hand. " The roses at Fair View 
bloom early," he said, turning her about that he 
might better see the red cluster in her hair. " Look 
you, Audrey I I wish you no great harm, child. 
You mind me at times of one that I knew many years 



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ago, before ever I was ctaplain to my Lord Squander 
or husband to my Lady Squander's waiting-woman. 
A hunter may use a decoy, and be may also, on the 
wbole, prefer to keep tbat decoy as good as when 't was 
made. Buy not thy roses too dearly, Audrey." 

To Audrey he spoke in riddles. She took from 
her hair the loosened bade, and looked at tbem lying 
in her hand. " I did not buy them," she said. " They 
grew in the sun on the south side of the great house, 
and Mr. Haward gave them to me." 



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CHAPTER Xn 
THE FORTEATT OF A QENTLBHAM 

Jumi came to tide-water Vi^nia with long, warm 
days and with the odor of many roses. Day by day 
the clondlesB sansfaine visited the land ; night by night 
tiie large pale stars looked into its waters. It was a 
slumberous land, of mtuy creeks and rivers that were 
wide, slow, and deep, of tobacco fields and lofty, sol- 
enm forests, of rague marshes, of white mists, of a 
haze of heat far and near. The moon of blossoms 
was past, and the red men — few in number now — 
had returned from tbeir hunting, and lay in the shade 
of the trees in the villages that the English had left 
them, while the women brought them fish from the 
weirs, and strawberries from the vines that carpeted 
every poisoned field or neglected clearing. The black 
men toiled amidst the tobacco and the maize ; at noon- 
tide it was as hot in the fields as in the middle pass^e, 
and the voices of those who sang over their work fell 
to a dull crooning. The white men who were bound 
served listlessly ; they that were well were as lazy as 
the weather ; they that were newly come over and ill 
with the " seasoning " fever tossed upon their pallets, 
lon^ng for the cooling waters of home. The white 
men who were free swore that the world, though fair, 
was warm, and none walked if he could ride. The 
^muny, dnsty roads were left for shadowed bridle paths ; 



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164 AUDEEY 

in a land where most places conld be reached by boat, 
the water wouU bare been the highway but that the 
languid air would not fiU the sails. It was agreed 
that the heat was unnatural, and that, likely enough, 
there would be a deal of fever during the summer. 

But there was thich shade in the Fair View gar- 
den, and when there was air at all it visited the terrace 
above the river. The rooms of the house were lai^ 
and higb-pitched ; draw to tbe shutters, and they be- 
came as cool as caverns. Around the place the heat 
lay in wait: heat of wide, shadowless fields, where 
Haward's slaves toiled from mom to eve ; heat of the 
great river, unstirred by any wind, hot and sleeping 
beneath the blazing sun ; heat of slu^^h creeks and 
of the marshes, sbadetess as the fields. Onoe reach 
the mighty trees drawn like a cordon around house 
and garden, and there was escape. 

To and fro and up and down in the house went the 
erst waiting-woman to my Lad; Squander, carrying 
matters with a high hand. Tbe negresses who worked 
under her eye found her a bard taskmistress. Was a 
room clean to-day, to-morrow it was found that there 
was dust upon the polished floor, finger marks on tbe 
paneled walls. Tbe same furniture must be placed 
now in this room, now in that ; china slowly washed 
and bestowed in one closet transferred to another ; an 
eternity spent upon the household linen, another on' 
tbe sewing and resewing, the hanging and rehanging, 
of damask curtains. The slaves, silent when the 
greenish eyes and tight, vixenish face were by, chat- 
tered, laughed, and sung when they were left alone. 
If they fell idle, and little was done of a morning, 
they went unrebuked; thoroughness, and not haste, 
appearing to be Mistress Deborah's motto. 



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THE PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN 1«S 

The master of Fair View found it too noisy in his 
hoose to sit therein, and too warm to ride ahroad. 
There were left the seat bnilt round the cherry-tree in 
the garden, the long, cool box walk, and the terrace 
with a summer-house at either end. It was {deasaot 
to read out of doors, pacing the box walk, or sitting 
beneath the cherry-tree, with the ripening fruit ovei^ 
head. If the book was long in reading, if morning by 
morning Haward'a fii^r slipped easily in between the 
selfsame leaves, perhaps it was the fault of poet or 
philosopher. If Audrey's was the fault, she knew it 
not. 

How could she know it, who knew herself, that she 
was a poor, bumble maid, whom out of pure charity 
and knightly tenderness for weak and sorrowful things 
he long ago had saved, since then bad maintained, now 
was kind to ; and knew him, that he was learned and 
great and good, the very perfect gentle knigbt who, as 
he rode to win the princess, yet could stoop from his 
saddle to raise and help the berd girl ? She had found 
of late that she was often wakeful of nights ; when this 
happened, she lay and looked out of her window at the 
stars and wondered about the princess. She was sure 
that the princess and the lady who bad given her the 
guinea were one. 

In the great house she would have worked her 
fingers to the bone. Her strong young arms lifted 
heavy weights ; her quick feet ran np and down stairs 
for this or that; she wonld have taken the waxed 
cloths from the negroes, and upon ber knees and with 
willing bands have made to shine like mirrors t^e 
doors that were to be trodden by knight and princess. 
But almost every morning, before she bad worked an 
hour, Haward would call to her from the box walk 



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166 AUDREY 

or the seat beceatli the cherry-tree ; and *' Geo* child, ' 
would say Mistress Deborah, looking op from her task 
of the moment. 

The garden oontinned to be the enchanted garden. 
To gather its flowers, red and white, to pace with him 
cool paved walks between walls of scented box, to sit 
beside him beneath the oherry-tree or upon the grassy 
terrace, looking out upon the wide, idle river, — it was 
dreamy bliss, a happiness too rare to last. There was 
no harm ; not that she ever dreamed there could be. 
The bouse overlooked garden and terrace ; the slaves 
passed and repassed the open windows ; Juba came 
and went; now and then Mistress Deborah herself 
would sally forth to receive instructions coaceming 
this or that from the master of the house. And every 
day, at noon, the slaves drew to all the shutters save 
those of the master's room, and the minister's wife and 
ward made their curtsies and went home. The latter, 
like a child, counted the hours upon the clock until 
the next morning ; but then she was not used to happi- 
ness, and the wine of it made her slightly drunken. 

The master of Fair View told himself that there 
was -infection in this lotus air of Virginia. A fever 
ran in his veins that made him languid of will, some- 
what sluggish of thought, willing to spend one day 
like another, and aU in a long dream. Sometimes, in 
the afternoons, when he was alone in the garden or 
upon the terrace, with the house blank and silent be- 
hind him, the slaves gone to the quarters, he tossed 
aside his book, and, with bis chin upon his hand and 
bis eyes upon the sweep of the river, first asked himself 
vhidier he was going, and then, finding no satisfac- 
tory answer, fell to brooding. Once, going into the 
house, he chanced to come upon his full-lei^th r^lec- 



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THE FORTBAIT OF A GENTLEMAN 167 

tion in a mirror newly huDg, and stopped short to 
gaze upon himself. The parlor of his lod^ngs at 
Williamsbui^h and the last time tiiat he had seen 
Evelyn came to him, conjured up by the memory of 
certain words of hie own. 

" A truer glass might show a shrunken figure," he 
repeated, and with a quick and impatient sigh he 
looked at the image in the mirror. 

To the eye, at least, the figure was not shrunken. 
It was that of a man still young, and of a handsome 
face and much distinction of bearing. The dress 
was perfect in its quiet elegance ; the air of the man 
compOBed, — a trifle sad, a trifle mocking. Haward 
snapped his fingers at the reflection. " Tho portrait 
of a gentleman," he said, and passed on. 

That night, in his own room, he took from an escri- 
toiro a picture of Evelyn Byrd, done in miniature 
after a painting by a pnpil of Kneller, and, carrying 
it over to the light of the myrtle candles upon the 
table, sat down and fell to studj^ng it. After a while 
he let it drop from his hand, and leaned back in his 
chair, thinking. 

The night air, rising slightly, bent back the flame 
of the candles, around which moths were fluttering, 
and cansed strange shadows upon the walls. They 
were thick about the curtained bed whereon had died 
the elder Haward, — a proud man, choleric, and hard 
to turn from his purposes. Into the mind of his son, 
sitting staring at these shadows, came the fantastic 
notion that amongst them, angry and stru^ling vainly 
for speech, might be his father's shade. The night 
was feverish, of a heat and lassitude to foster grotesque 
and idle fancies. Haward smiled, and spoke aloud to 
his ima^nary ghost. 



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168 AUDREY 

" You need not strive for speech," he said. " I 
know what you wotild say. Was it for this I built 
this house, bought land and slaves ? . . . Fair View 
and Westover, Weatover and Fair View. A lady 
that will not wed thee because she loves thee ! Zoons, 
Marmaduke! thou puttest me beside my patience! 
. . , As for this other, set no nameless, barefoot 
wench where sat thy mother! Sing Cophetua and 
the beggar maid, indeed ! I warrant you Cophetua 
was something under three-and-thirty ! " 

Haward ceased to speak for his father, and sighed 
for himself. " Moral : Three-and-thirty must he wiser 
in his day and generation." He rose from his chair, 
and began to walk the room. " If not Cophetua, what 
then, — what then ? " Passing the table, he took up 
the miniature again. "The villain of the piece, I 
suppose, Evelyn ? " he asked. 

The pure and pensive face seemed to answer him. 
He put the picture hastily down, and recommenced his 
pacing to and fro. From the garden below came the 
heavy odor of lilies, and the whisper of the river tried 
the nerves. Haward went to the window, and, lean- 
ing out, looked, as now each night he looked, up and 
across the creek toward the minister's house. To- 
night there was no light to mark it ; it was late, and 
all the world without his room was in darkness. He 
sat down in the window seat, looked out upon the stars 
and listened to the river. An hour had passed before 
he turned back to the room, where the candles had 
burned low. " I will go to Westover to-morrow," he 
said. " God knows, I should be a villain " — 

He locked the picture of Evelyn within his desk, 
drank his wine and water, and went to bed, strongly 
resolved upon retreat. In the morning he said, " I 



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THE POBTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN 169 

will go to Westover this afternoon ; " and in the after- 
noon he said, " I will go to-morrow." When the mor- 
row came, he fomid that the honse lacked but one 
day of being finished, and that there was therefore 
no need for him to go at alL 

Mistress Deborah was loath enough to take leave 
of damask and mirrors and ornaments of china,— 
the latter fine enough and curious enough to remind 
her of Jjady Squander's own drawiug-room ; but the 
leaf of paper which Haward wrote upon, tore from his 
pocket-book, and gave her provided consolation. Her 
thanks were very glib, her curtsy was very deep. She 
was his most obliged, humble servant, and if she could 
serve him again he would make her proud. Would he 
not, now, some day, row up creek to their poor house, 
and taste of her perry and Shrewsbury cakes 7 Au- 
drey, standing by, raised her eyes, and made of the 
request a royal invitation. 

For a week or more Haward abode upon his planta- 
tion, alone save for his servants and slaves. Each day 
he sent for the overseer, and listened gravely while 
that worthy expounded to him ail the details of the 
condition and conduct of the estate ; in the early morn- 
ing and the late afternoon he rode abroad through 
his fields and forests. Mill and ferry and rolling 
house were visited, and the quarters made his ac- 
quaintance. At the creek quarter and the distant 
ridge quarter were bestowed the newly bought, the 
sullen and the refractory of his chattels. When, after 
sunset, and the fields were silent, he rode past the 
cabins, coal-black figures, new from the slave deck, 
still seamed at wrist and ankle, mowed and jabbered 
at him from over their bowls of steaming food; 
others, who had forgotten the jungle and the slavei^ 



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answered, when be spoke to them, in stracge Englisli ; 
others, bom in Virginia, and remembering when He 
used to ride that way with his father, htughed, eall^ 
him " Marse Duke," and agreed with him that the crop 
was looking mighty well. With the dark he reached 
the great house, and negroes from the home quarter 
took his horse, while Juba lighted him through the 
echoing ball into the lonely rooms. 

From the white quarter he procured a facile lad who 
could read and write, and who, through too mueh 
quioknesB of wit, had failed to prosper in England. 
Him he installed as secretary, and forthwith began a 
correspondence with friends in England, as well as a 
long poem which was to serve the doable purpose of 
giving Mr. Pope a rival and of occupying the mind of 
Mr. Marmaduke Haward. The letters were witty and 
graceful, the poem was the same ; but on the third 
day the secretary, pausing for the next word that 
should fall from his master's lips, waited ho long that 
he dropped asleep. When he awoke, Mr. Haward 
was slowly tearing into bits the work that had been 
done on the poem. " It will have to wait upon my 
mood," he said. " Seal up the letter to Lord Herv^, 
boy, and then begone to the fields. K I want yon 
again, I will send for you." 

The next day be proposed to himself to ride to Wil- 
liamsburgh and see his acquaintances there. But 
even as he crossed the room to strike the bell for Juba 
a distaste for the town and its people came upon him. 
It occurred to him that instead he might take the 
bai^e and be rowed up the river to the Jaquelins' 
or to Grreen Spring ; but in a moment this plan also 
became repagnant. Finally he went out upon the 
terrace, and sat there the morning tfarougb, staring at 



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THE PORTRAIT OP A GENTLEMAN 171 

the river. That afternoon he sent a negro to the stoie 
with a mesBiige for the storekeeper. 
. The Highlander, obeying the demand for his com- 
pany, — the third or fourth since hia day at WiUianu- 
burgh, — came shortly before twilight to the great 
hoose, and found the master thereof still npon the ter- 
race, sitting beneath an oak, with a small table and a 
bottle of wine beside him. 

"Ha, Mr. MacLeanI" he cried, as the other ap- 
proached. " Some days have passed since last we laid 
the ghosts ! I had meant to sooner improve onr ac- 
quaintance. But my house has been in disorder, and 
I myself," — be passed his hand across his face as if 
to wipe away the expression into which it had been 
set, — " I myself have been poor company. There is 
a witchery in the air of this place. I am become but 
a dreamer of dreams." 

As he spoke he motioned his guest to an empty 
chair, and began to pour wine for them both. His 
hand was not quite steady, and there was about him 
a restlesBness of aspect most unnatural to the man. 
The storekeeper thought him looking worn, and as 
though he had passed sleepless nights. 

MacLean sat down, and drew his wineglass toward 
him. " It is the heat," he said. " Last night, in the 
store, I felt that I was stifling; and I left it, and lay 
on the bare ground without. A star shot down the 
B^, and I wished that a wind as swift and strong 
would rise and sweep the land out to sea. When the 
day comes that I die, I wish to die a fierce death. It 
is best to die in battle, for then the mind is raised, 
and you taste all life in the moment before you go. 
If a man achieves not that, then stru^le with earth 
or air or the waves of the sea is desirable. Driving 



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sleet, armies of tlie snow, night aad trackless moun- 
tains, the leap of the torrent, swollen lakes where kel- 
pies lie in wait, wind on the sea with the black reef 
and the charging breakers, — it is well to dash one's 
force against the force of these, and to die after fight- 
ing. But in this cursed land of warmth and ease a 
man dies like a dog that is old and hath lain winter 
and summer upon the hearthstone." He drank his 
wine, and glanced again at Haward. " I did not 
know that you were here," he said. "Saunderson 
told me that you were going to Westover." 

" I was, — I am," answered Haward briefly. Pre- 
sently he roused himself from the brown stady into 
which he had fallen. 

" 'T is the heat, as you say. It enervates. For my 
part, I am willing that your wind should arise. Bat 
it will not blow to-night. There is not a breath ; the 
river is like glass." He raised the wine to his lips, and 
drank deeply. "Come," he said, laughing. "What 
did you at the store to^ay ? And does Mistress Tme- 
love despair of your conversion to thee and thou, and 
peace with all mankind ? Hast procured an enemy to 
fill the place I have vacated ? I trust he 's no scurvy 
foe." 

" I will take your questions in order," answered the 
other sententionsly. " This morning I sold a deal 
of fine china to a parcel of fine ladies who oame by 
water from Jamestown, and were mightily concerned to 
know whether your worship was gone to Westover, or 
bad instead (as 't was reported) shut yourself up in 
Fair View house. And this afternoon came over in a 
periagna, from the other side, a very young gentle- 
man with money in band to buy a silver-fringed glove. 
*Tltey are sold in pairs,' said L ' Fellow, I require 



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THE PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN 173 

but one,' said he. ' If Dick Allen, who hath slandered 
me to Mistress Betty Cocke, dareth to appear at the 
merrymaking at Colonel Harrison's to-night, his cheek 
and this glove shall come together I ' ' Nathless, yon 
must pay for both,' I told him ; and the upshot is that 
he leaves with me a gold button as earnest that he will 
bring the remainder of the price before the duel to- 
morrow. That Quaker maiden of whom you ask hath 
a soul like the soul of Colna-dona, of whom Murdoch, 
the harper of Coll, used to sing. She is fair as a 
flower after winter, and as tender as the rose Bush in 
which swims yonder star. When I am with her, al- 
most she persuades me to think ill of honest hatred, 
and to pine no longer that it was not I that had the 
killing of Ewin Maofeinnon." He gave a short laugh, 
and stooping picked up an oak tvrig from the ground, 
and with deliberation broke it into many small pieces. 
"Almost, but not quite," he said. "There was in 
that feud nothing illusory or fantastic ; nothing of the 
quality that marked, mayhap, another feud of my own 
making. If I have found that in this latter case I 
took a wraith and dubbed it my enemy ; that, think- 
ing I followed a foe, I followed a friend instead " — 
He threw away the bits of bark, and straightened 
himself. " A friend I " he said, drawing his breath. 
** Save for this Quaker family, I have had no friend 
for many a year t And I cannot talk to them of honor 
and warfare and the wide worid." His speech was 
sombre, but in his eyes there was an eagerness not with- 
out pathos. 

The mood of the Oael chimed with the present 
mood of the Saxon. As unlike in their natures as 
their histories, men would have called them ; and yet, 
far away, io dim recesses of the sool, at long diatanoea 



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174 AUDREY 

from the Eesh, esch reo(^;iiized the other. And it was 
an evening, too, in which to take care of other things 
than the ways and speech of every day. The heat, the 
hush, and die stillness appeared well-nigh preter> 
natnraL A sadness breathed over the earth ; all 
things seemed new and yet old ; across the spectral 
river the dim plains beneath the afterglow took the 
seeming of battlefields. 

" A friend I " said Haward. " There are many men 
who call themselves my friends. I am melancholy to- 
day, restless, and divided ^unst myself. I do not 
know one of my acquaintance whom I would have 
called to be melancholy with me as I have called you." 
He leaned across the table and touched MaoLean's 
hand that was somewhat hurriedly fingering the wine- 
glass. " Come I " he sud. " Loneliness may haunt 
the level fields as well as the ways that are rugged and 
steep. How many times have we held converse since 
that day I found yon in charge of my store? Often 
enoi^h, I think, for each to know the other's quality. 
Onr lives have been very different, and yet I believe 
that we are akin. For myself, I should be glad to 
hold as my friend so gallant though so unfortunate a 
gentleman." He smiled and made a gesture of cour- 
tesy. " Of- course Mr. MacLean may very justly not 
hold me in a like esteem, nor desire a closer relation." 

MacLean rose to his feet, and stood gazing across 
the river at the twilight shore and the clear skies. 
Presently he turned, and his eyes were wet. He drew 
his hand across them; then looked curiously at the 
dew upon it. " I have not done this," he said simply, 
" «nce a night at Preston when I wept with rage. In 
my country we love as we hate, with all the strength 
that God has ^ven as. The brother of my spirit is 



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THE PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN 175 

to me even as the brother of my flesh. ... I used to 
dream that my hand was at your throat or my sword 
through your heart, and wake in anger that it was not 
so . . . and now I could love you welL" 

Haward stood up, and the two men clasped hands. 
"It is a pact, then," said the Englishman, "By my 
f aidi, the world looks not so melancholy gray as it did 
awhile ago. And here is Juba to say that supper 
waits. Lay the table for two, Juba. Mr. MacLean 
will bear me company." 

The storekeeper stayed late, the master of Fair View 
being an accomplished gentleman, a very good talker, 
and an adept at turning his house for the nonce into 
the bouse of bis guest Sapper over they went into the 
library, where their wine was set, and where the High- 
lander, who was no great reader, gazed respectfully at 
the wit and wisdom arow before him. " Colonel Byrd 
bath more volumes at Westover," quoth Haward, " but 
mine are of the choicer quality." Juba brought a card 
table, and lit more candles, while his master, unlock- 
ing a desk, took from it a number of gold pieces. 
These he divided into two equal portions : kept one 
beside him upon the polished table, and, with a fine 
smile, half humorous, half deprecating, pushed the 
other across to his guest. With an imperturbable 
face MacLean stacked the gold before him, and they 
fell to piquet, playing briskly, and with occasional ap- 
plication to the Madeira upon the larger table, until 
ten of t^e clock. The Highlander, then declaring that 
be must be no longer away from his post, swept his 
heap of coins across to sweU his opponent's store, and 
said good-night. Haward went with him to the great 
door, and watched him stride off through the darkness 
whistling " The Battle of Harlaw." 



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178 AUDREY 

That night Haward slept, and the next morning 
fanr negroes rowed him up the river to Jamestown. 
Mr. Jaqnetin was gone to Norfolk upon husiness, hut 
his heautiful wife and sprightly daughters found Mr. 
Marmaduke Haward altt^ther charming. " 'T was 
as good as going to court," they said to one another, 
when the gentleman, after a two hours' visit, howed 
himself out of their drawing.room. The object of their 
encomiums, going down river in his harge, felt his 
spirits lighter than they had been for some days. He 
spoke cheerfully to his negroes, and when the barge 
passed a couple of fishing-boats he called to tlie slim 
brown lads that caught for the plantation to know 
their luck. At the landing he found the overseer, 
who walked to the great house with him. The night 
before Tyburn Will had stolen from the white quar- 
ters, and had met a oouple of seamen from the Tem- 
perance at the crossroads ordinary, which ordinary 
was going to get into trouble for breaking the law 
which forbade the harboring of sailors ashore. The 
three had taken in full lading of kill-devil rum, and 
Tyburn Will, too drank to run any farther, had been 
caught by Hide near Princess Creek, three hours 
^one. What were the master's orders ? Should the 
rogue go to the court-bouse whipping post, or should 
Hide save the trouble of taking him there ? In either 
case, thirty-nine lashes well laid on — 

The master pursed his lips, dug into the ground 
with the ferrule of his cane, and finally proposed to 
the astonished overseer that the rascal be let off vrith 
a warning. " 'T is too fair a day to poison with ugly 
sights and sounds," he said, whimsically apologetic for 
his own weakness. " 'T will do no great harm to be 
lenient, for once, Sannderson, and I am in the mood 



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THE PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAM 177 

to-day to be friends with all men, including my- 
self." 

The overseer went away grumbling, and Haward 
entered the house. The room where dwelt his books 
looked cool and inviting. He walked the length of 
the shelves, took out a volume here and there for 
his evening reading, and apon the binding of others 
laid an affectionate, lingering touch. " I have had a 
fever, my friends," he announced to the books, ** but 
I am about to find myself happily restored to reason 
and serenity; in short, to health." 

Some hours later he raised his eyes from the floor 
which he had been studying for a great while, cov> 
ered them for a moment with his hand, then rose, and, 
vith the air of a sleepwalker, went out of the lit room 
into a calm and f r^p-ant night. There was no moon, 
but the stars were many, and it did not seem dark. 
When he came to the verge of the landing, and 
the river, sighing in its sleep, lay dear below him, 
mirroring the stars, it was as thongh he stood be- 
tween two firmaments. He descended the steps, and 
drew toward him a small rowboat that was softly rub- 
bing against the wet and glistening piles. The tide 
was out, and the night was very quiet. 

Haward troubled not the midstream, but rowing in 
the shadow of the bank to the month of Uie creek that 
slept beside his garden, turned and went up this nar- 
row water. Until he was free of the wall the odor of 
honeysuckle and box clung to the air, freighting it 
heavily ; when it was left behind the reeds began to 
mnrmnr and sigh, though not loudly, for there was no 
wind. When he came to a point opposite the minis- 
ter's house, rising fifty yards away from amidst low 
OTohard trees, he rested upon his oars. There was a 



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light in an upper room, aod as he looked Audrey 
passed between the candle and the open window. A 
moment later and the light was out, but ha knew that 
she was sitting at Uie window. Though it was dark, 
he found that he could call back with precision tJie 
slender throat, the lifted face, and the enshadowtng 
hur. For a while be stayed, motionless in bis boat, 
bidden hy the reeds that whispered and sighed ; but 
at last he rowed away softly through the darkness, 
back to the dim, slow-moving river and the Fair View 
landing. 

This was of a Friday. All the next day be spent 
in the garden, but on Sunday morning he sent word to 
the stables to have Mirza saddled. He was going 
to obarch, he told Juba over his chocolate, and he 
would wear the gray and silver. 



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CHAPTER XIII 
A SABBATH DAT'S JOUBNET 

Although the house o£ worship which boasted aa 
its ornament the Reverend Gideon Darden was not so 
large and handsonie as Bmton church, nor could rival 
the painted glories of Poplar Spring, it w&s yet a 
bnildiog good enough, — of brick, with a fair white 
spire and a decorous mantle of ivy. The churchyard, 
too, was pleasant, though somewhat crowded wiUi the 
dead. There were oaks for shade; and wild roses for 
fragrance, and the grass between the long gravestones, 
prone upon mortal dust, grew very thick and green. 
Outside the gates, — a gift from the first master of 
Fair View, — between the churchyard and the dusty 
highroad ran a long strip of trampled turf, shaded by 
locust-trees and by one gigantic gum that became in 
the autumn a pillar of fire. 

Haward, arriving somewhat after Mme, found drawn 
up upon this piece of sward a coach, two berlins, a 
calash, and three chaises, while tied to hitching-posts, 
trees, and the fence were a number of saddle-horses. 
In the shade of the gum-tree sprawled half a dozen 
negro servants, but on the box of the coach, from 
which the restless horses bad been taken, there yet sat 
the coachman, a mulatto of powerful build and a snU 
len countenance. The vehicle stood in the blazing 
sunshine, and it was both cool^ and merrier beneath 



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180 AUDBET 

the tree, — a fact apparent enough to the coaohman, 
bnt the knowledge of which, seeing that he was chained 
to the box, did him small good. Haward glanced at 
the figure indifEerendy ; but Juba, following his mas- 
ter upon Whitefoot Kate, grinned from ear to ear. 
" Lamin' not to run away, Sam ? Koad 'b clear : why 
don' yon carry o£E de coach ? " 

Haward dismounted, and leaving Juba first to 
fasten the horses, and then join his fellows beneath 
the g^m-tree, walked into the churchyard. The con- 
gregation had assembled, and besides himself there 
were noue without the church save the negroes and 
the dead. The service had commenced. Through the 
open door came to him Darden's voice : " Dearly be- 
loved hrethrea " — 

Haward wuted, leaning agiunst a tomb deep graven 
with a coat of arms and much stately Latin, until the 
singing clave the air, when he entered the building, 
and passed down the aisle to his own pew, the chief- 
est in the place. He was aware of the flutter and 
whisper on either hand, — perhaps he did not find it 
unpleasing. Diogenes may have carried his lantern 
not merely to find a man, but to show one as well, 
and a philosopher in a pale gray riding dress, cat 
after the latest mode, with silver lace and a fall of 
Mechlin, may be trusted to know the value as well 
as the vanity of sublunary things. 

Of the gathering, which was not large, two thirds, 
perhaps, were people of condition ; and in the coun- 
try, where occasions for display did not present them- 
selves uncalled, it was highly becoming to worship the 
Lord in fine clothes. So there were broken rainbows 
in the tall pews, with a soft waving of fans to and fro 
in the essenced air, and a low mstle of silk. The men 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOUENET 181 

vrent as fine as the voin«n, and tiie June sunsbine, 
pouring in upon all this lustre and color, made a 
flower-bed of the assemblage. Being of the conntry, 
it vas vastly better behaved than would have been a 
fashionable London coogregation ; but it certainly saw 
no reason why Mr. Marmaduke Haward should not, 
during the anthem, turn his back upon altar, minieter, 
and clerk, and employ himself in recognizing with a 
smile and an inclination of his bead his friends and 
acquaintances. They smiled back, — the gentlemen 
bowing slightly, the ladies making a sketeh of a curtsy. 
All were glad that Fair View bouse was open once 
more, and were kindly disposed toward the master 



The eyes of that gentleman were no longer for the 
gay parterre. Between it and the door, in aucusbioued 
pews or on rude benches, were to be found the plainer 
sort of Darden's parishioners, and in this territory, 
that was like a border of sober foli^e to the flower- 
bed in front, be discovered whom be sought. 

Her gaze had been upon him since he passed the 
minister's pew, where she stood between my I^ady 
Squander's ex-waiting-woman and the branded school- 
master, but now their eyes came full tt^ether. She 
was dressed in some coarse dark stofE, above which 
rose the brown pillar of her throat and the elusive, 
singular beauty of her face. There was a flower in 
her hair, placed as he bad placed the rosebuds. A 
splendor leaped into her eyes, but her cheek did not 
redden ; it was to his face that the color rushed. 
They had but a moment in which to gaze at each other, 
for the singing, which to her, at least, had seemed sud- 
denly to swell into a great ascending tide of sonnd, 
with somewhere, far away, the silver calling of a 



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trumpet, now came to an end, and with another nlken 
rustle and murmur the congregation sat down. 

Haward did not turn again, and the service went 
drowsily on. Darden was bleared of eye and soine>- 
what thick of voice ; the clerk's whine was as sleepy 
a sound as the buzzing of the bees in and out of win- 
dow, or the soft, incessant stir of painted fans. A 
churchwarden in the next pew nodded and nodded, 
until he nodded his peruke awry, and a child went 
fast asleep, with its head in its mother's lap. One 
and all worshiped somewhat languidly, with frequent 
glances at the houi^lass upon the pulpit. They prayed 
for King Greorge the First, not knowing that he was 
dead, and for the Prince, not knowing that he was 
King. The minister preached against Quakers and 
witchcraft, and shook the rafters with his fulminations. 
Finally came the benediction and a sigh of relief. 

In that country and time there was no unsociable 
and undignified scurrying homeward after church. 
Decorous silence prevailed until the houBe was ex- 
changed for the green and shady churchyard ; but then 
tongues were looBened, and the flower-bed broken into 
clusters. One must greet one's neighbors ; present 
or be presented to what company might be staying 
at the various great houses within the parish; talk, 
laugh, coquet, and ogle ; make appointments for busi- 
ness or for pleasure ; speak of the last horse-race, the 
condition of wheat and tobacco, and the news brought 
in by the Valour, man-of-war, that the King was gone 
to Hanover. In short, for the nonce, the cfaurchyarct 
became a drawing-room, with the sun for candles, with 
no painted images of the past and gone apon the walls, 
but with the dead thems^ves beneath the floor. 

The minister, having questions to settle with clerk 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY 183 

and sextoD, tarried in tbe vestry room ; but hU wife, 
witii Audrey and the Bchoolmaater, waited for him 
outside, in the shade of an oak-tree that was just with- 
out the pale of the drawing-room. Mistress Deborah, 
in her tarnished amber satin and ribbons that had out- 
worn their y^uth, bit her lip and tapped her foot upon 
the ground. Audrey watched her apprehensively. 
She knew the signs, and that when they reached home 
a storm might break that would leave its mark upon 
her shoulders. The minister's wife was not approved 
of by the ladies of Fair View parish, but had they seen 
how wistful waa the face of the brown girl with her, 
they might have turned aside, spoken, and let the 
atorm go by. The girl herself was scarcely noticed. 
Few had ever heard her story, or, bearing it, had re- 
membered ; the careless many thought her an orphan, 
bound to Darden aud his wife, — in effect their ser- 
vant. If she had beauty, the ladies and gentlemen 
who saw her, Sunday after Sunday, in the minister's 
pew, had eoarce discovered it. She was too dark, too 
slim, too shy and strange of look, with her great brown 
eyes and that startled turn of her head. Their taste 
was for lilies and roses, and it was not an age that 
counted shyness a grace. 

Mr. Marmaduke Haward was not likely to be ac- 
cused of diffidence. He had come out of church with 
the sleepy-headed churchwarden, who was now wide 
awake and mightily concerned to know what horse 
Mr. Haward meant to enter for the great race at Mul- 
berry Island, while at the foot of the steps he was 
seized upon by another portly vestryman, aud borne 
off to be presented to three blooming young ladies, 
quick to second their papa's invitation home to dinner. 
Mr. Haward was ready to curse his luok that be was 



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184 AUDREY 

engaged elsewhere ; bat were not these Graces the 
children to whom he had used to send sugar-plums 
from WiUiamsburgfa, years and years ago? He 
vowed that the payment, which he had never received, 
he would take now with usury, and proceeded to sa- 
lute the cheek of each protesting fair. The ladies 
found him vastly agreeable; old and new friends 
crowded around him ; he put forth his powers and 
charmed all hearts, — and all the while inwardly 
enrsed the length of way to the gates, and the tardy 
progress thereto of his friends and neighbors. 

But however slow in ebbing, the tide was really set 
toward home and dinner. Darden, coming out of the 
vestry room, found the churchyard almost cleared, 
and tiie road in a clond of dust. The greater number 
of those who came a-horseback were gone, and there 
had also departed both berlins, the calash, and two 
chaises. Mr. Haward was handing the three Graces 
into the coach with the chained coachman, Juba stand- 
ing by, holding his master's horse. Darden grew 
something purpler in the face, and, rumbling oaths, 
went over to the three beneath the oak. " How many 
spoke to yon to-day ? " he asked roughly of his wife. 
" Did he come and speak ? " 

"No, he didn't!" cried Mistress Deborah tartly. 
" And all the gentry went by ; only Mr. Bray stopped 
to say that everybody knew of your fight with Mr- 
Bailey at the French ordinary, and that the Commis- 
sary bad sent for Bailey, and was going to suspend 
him. I wish to Heaven I knew why I married you, 
to be looked down upon by every Jill, when I might 
have had hb Lordship's own man ! Of all the 
fools " — 

" Tou were not the only one," answered her hus- 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY 186 

band grimly. " Well, let 's home ; there 's dinner yet 
What is it, Audrey ? " This in answer to an inarticu- 
late sound from the girl. 

The schoolmaster answered for her : " Mr. Marmi^ 
duke Haward has not gone with the coach. Perhaps 
he only waited until the other gentlefolk should be 
gone. Here he cornea." 

The sward without the gates was bare of all whose 
presence mattered, and Haward had indeed reentered 
the churchyard, and was walking toward them. Dar- 
den went to meet him. " These be fine tales I hear of 
you, Mr. Darden," said bis parishioner calmly. " I 
should judge yon were near the end of your rope. 
There 's a vestry meeting Thursday. Shall I put in a 
good word for your reverence? Egad, you need it ! " 

" I shall be your honor's most humble, most obliged 
servant," quoth the minister. "The affair at the 
French ordinary was nothing. I mean to preach next 
Sunday upon oalumny, — calumny that spareth none, 
not even such as I. You are for home, I see, and oar 
road for a Ume is the same. Will you ride with ua ? " 

"Ay," said Haward briefly. "But you must send 
yonder fellow with the scarred hands packing. I 
travel not with thieves." 

He had not troubled to lower bis voice, and as he 
and Darden were now themselves within the shadow 
of the oak, the schoolmaster overheard him and an- 
swered for himself. " Your honor need not fear my 
company," he said, in his slow and lifeless tones. " I 
am walking, and I take the short cut through the 
woods. Gt>od-day, worthy Grideon. Madam Deborah 
and Audrey, good-day." 

He put his uncouth, shambling figure into motion, 
and, indifferent and lifeless in manner as in voioe, was 



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gone, gliding like a long black shadow through the 
churchyard and into the woods across the road. *' I 
knewhim long ^fo in England," the minister expluned 
to their new companion. " He 's a learned man, and, 
like myself, a c^umniated one. The gentlemen of 
these parts value him highly as an instructor of youth. 
No need to send their sons to collie if they 've been 
with him for a year or two ! My good Deborah, Mr. 
Haward will ride with ns toward Fair View." 

Mistress Deborah enrtsied ; then ohided Audr^ 
tor not minding her manners, but standing like a 
stock or stone, with her thoughts a thousand miles 
away. " Let her be," said Haward. " We gave each 
other good-day in church." 

Ti^tfaer the four left the churchyard. Darden 
brought up two sorry horses; lifted his wife and 
Audrey upon one, and mounted the other. Haward 
swung himself into his saddle, and the company started, 
Juba upon Whitefoot Kate bringing up the rear. 
The master of Fair View rode beside the minister, and 
only now and then spoke to the women. The road 
was here sunny, there shady ; the excessive heat 
broken, the air pleasant enough. Everywhere, too, 
was the singing of birds, while the fields that they 
passed of tobacco and golden, waving wheat were 
charming to the sight. The minister was, when sober, 
a man of parts, with some education and a deal of 
mother wit ; in addition, a close and shrewd observer 
of the times and people. He and Haward talked of 
matters of public moment, and the two women listened, 
snbmissive and admiring. It seemed that they came 
very quickly to the bridge across the creek and the 
parting of their ways. Would Mr. Haward ride on 
to the glebe house ? 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNET 187 

It appeared that Mr. Haward would. Moreover, 
wfaen the hoQBe was reached, and Darden's oue slave 
came ninning from a broken-down stable to take the 
horses, he made no motion toward returning to the 
bridge which led across the creek to his own planta- 
tion, but instead dismounted, flung bis reina to Juba, 
and asked if he might stay to dinner. 

Now, by the greatest good luck, considered Mistress 
Deborah, there chanced to be in her larder a haunch 
of venison roasted most noble ; the ducklings and 
asparagus, too, cooked before church, needed bnt to 
be popped into the oven ; and there was also an apple 
tart with cream. With elation, then, and eke with a 
mind at rest, she added her shrill protests of delight 
to Darden's more moderate assurances, and, leaving 
Audrey to set chairs in tiie shade of a great apple- 
tree, hurried into the house to unearth her damask 
tablecloth and silver spoons, and to plan for the mor- 
row a visit to the Widow Constance, and a casual 
remark l^at Mr. Marmadnke Haward had dined with 
the minister the day before. Audrey, her task done, 
went after her, to be met with graciousness most un- 
usual. '* I '11 see to Qie dinner, child. Mr. Haward 
will expect one of us to sit without, and you had as 
well go a« I. If he 's talking to Darden, you might 
get some larkspur and gillifiowers for the table. La ! 
the flowers that used to wither beneath the candles at 
my Lady Squander's I " 

Audrey, finding the two men in conversation beneath 
the apple-tree, passed on to the ragged garden, where 
clumps of hardy, bright-colored flowers played hide- 
and-seek with currant and gooseberry bushes. Ha- 
ward saw her go, and broke the thread of his discourse. 
Darden looked up, and the eyes of the two men met ; 



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those of the younger were cold and steady. A momeot, 
and his glance had fallen to his watch which he had 
pulled out, " 'T is early yet," he said coolly, " and I 
dare say not quite your dinner time, — which I beg 
that Mistress Deborah will not advance on my account. 
Is it not your reverence's habit to rest within doors 
after your sermon ? Pray do not let me detain you. 
I will go talk awhile with Audrey." 

He put up his watch and rose to his feet. Darden 
cleared his throat. " I have, indeed, a letter to write 
to Mr. Commissary, and it may be half an hour before 
Deborah has dinner ready. I will send your servant 
to fetch you in." 

Haward broke the larkspur and gilliflowers, and 
Audrey gathered up her apron and filled it with the 
vivid blooms. The child that had thus brought loaves 
of bread to a governor's table spread beneath a sugar- 
tree, with mountains round about, had been uo purer 
of heart, no more innocent of rustic coquetry. When 
her apron was filled she would have returned to the 
house, but Haward would not have it so. " They will 
call when dinner is ready," he said. " I wish to talk 
to you, little maid. Let ua go sit in the shade of the 
willow yonder." 

It was almost a twilight behind the cool green nun 
of the willow boughs. Through that verdant mirt 
Haward and Audrey saw the outer world but dimly. 
" I had a fearful dream last night," said Audrey. " I 
think that that must have been why I was so glad to see 
you come into church to-day. I dreamed that you had 
never come home again, overseas, in the Golden Bose. 
Hngon was beside me, in the dream, telling me that 
you were dead in England : and suddenly I knew tiiat 
I had never really seen you ; that there was no garden, 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY 189 

no terrace, no roses, no you. It was all so cold and 
sad, and the sun kept growing smaller and smaller. 
Tlie woods, too, were black, and tbe wind cried in them 
BO that I was afraid. And then I was in Hugon's 
house, holding the door, — there was a wolf without, 
— and through the window I saw the mountains ; only 
they were so high diat my heart ached to look upon 
them, and the wind cried down the cleft in the hills. 
The wolf went away, and then, somehow, I was upon 
the hilltop. . . . There was a dead man lying in the 
grass, but it was too dark to see. Hugon came up 
behind me, stooped, and lifted the hand. . . . Upon 
the finger was that ring you wear, burning in the 
moonlight. . . . Oh me t " 

The remembered horror of her dream contending 
with present bliss shook her spirit to its centre. She 
shuddered violently, then burst into a passion of tears. 

Haward's touch upon her hair, Haward's voice in 
her ear, all the old terms of endearment for a fright- 
ened child, — " little maid," " little coward," " Why, 
sweetheart, these things are shadows, they cannot 
hnrt thee ' " She controlled her tears, and was the 
happier for her weeping. It was sweet to sit there in 
the lush grass, veiled and shadowed from the world 
by the willow's drooping green, and in that soft and 
happy light to listen to his voice, half laughing, half 
chiding, wholly tender and caressing. Dreams were 
naught, he said. Had Hugon troubled her waking 
hours? 

He had come once to the house, it appeared ; but 
she had run away and hidden in the wood, and the 
minister had told him she was gone to the Widow 
Constance's. That was a long time ago; it must 
have been the day after she and Mistress Deborah 
had last come from Fair View. 



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190 AUDREY 

" A long time," said Haward. " It was a ireek 
ago. Has it seemed a long time, Audrey ? " 

"Yes, — oh yes !" 

" I have been busy. I must learn to be a planter, 
you know. But I have thought of you, little maid." 

Audrey was glad of that, but there was yet a weight 
upon her heart. " After that dream I lay awake all 
night, and it came to me how wrongly I had done. 
Uugon is a wicked man, — an Indian. Oh, I should 
never have told you, that first day in the garden, that 
he was waiting for me outside 1 For now, because 
you took care of me and would not let him come near, 
he hates yon. He is so wicked that he might do you 
a harm." Her eyes widened, and the hand that 
touched his was cold and trembling. " If ever hurt 
came to you through me, I would drown myself in 
the river yonder. And then I thought — lying awake 
last night — that perhaps I had been troublesome to 
you, those days at Fair View, and that was why you 
had not come to see the minister, as you had said 
you would." The dark eyes were pitifully eager ; 
the hand that went to her heart trembled more and 
more. " It is not as it was in the monntains," she 
said. " I am older now, and safe, and — and happy. 
And you have many things to do and to think of, and 
many friends — gentlemen and beautiful ladies — to 
go to see. I thought — last night — that when I saw 
you I would ask your pardon for not remembering 
that the mountains were years ago ; for troubling you 
with my matters, sir ; for making too free, forgetting 
my place " — Her voice sank ; the shamed red was 
in her cheeks, and her eyes, that she had bravely kept 
upon his face, fell to the purple and gold blooms in 
her lap. 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY 191 

Haward lose from the grasB, and, with his back to 
the grfty bole of the willow, looked first at the veil of 
leaf and stem thiongh which dimly showed honse, or- 
chard, and blue sky, then down npon the girl at his 
feet Her head was bent and she sat very still, one 
listless, upturned hand upon the grass beside her, the 
other lying as quietly among her flowers. 

" Audrey," 1^ said at last, " you shame me in your 
thoughts of me. I am not that knight without fear 
and without reproach for which you take me. Being 
what I am,you must believe that you have not wearied 
me ; that I think of you and wish to see you. And 
Hngon, having possibly some oare for his own neck, 
will do me no harm ; that is a very foolish notion, 
which you must put from you. Now listen." He 
knelt beside her and took her band iu his. " After a 
while, perhaps, when the weather is cooler, and I must 
open my house and entertain after the fashion of the 
country ; when the new Governor comes in, and all 
this gay little world of Virginia fiocks to Williams- 
burgh ; when I am a Councilor, and must go with the 
rest, and mnst think of gold and place and people, — 
why, then, maybe, our paths will again diverge, and 
only now and then will I catch the gleam of your 
skirt, monntain maid, brown Audrey I Bnt now in 
these midsummer days it is a sleepy world, that cares 
not to go bustling up and down. I am alone in my 
house ; I visit not nor am visited, and the days hang 
heavy. Let us make believe for a time that the moun- 
t^ns are all around us, that it was but yesterday we 
traveled together. It is only a little way from Fair 
View to the glebe house, from the glebe house to Fair 
View. I will see you often, little maid, and yon must 
dream no more as yon dreamed last night." He 



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192 AUDREY 

paosecl ; his Tcnce changed, and be went on aa to lum- 
self : " It is a lonely land, with few to see and none to 
care. I will drift with the summer, making of it an 
idyl, heautiful, — yes, and innocent I When aatnmn 
comes I wiU go to Westover." 

Of this speech Andre; caught only the last word. 
A wonderful smile, so bright was it, and withal so 
sad, came into her face. " Weatover ! " she said to 
herself. *' That ia where the princess lives." 

" We will let thought alone," continued Haward. 
** It suits not with this charmed light, this glamour of 
the summer." He made a laughing gesture. " Hey, 
presto I little maid, there go the years rolling bach I 
I swear I see the mountains through the willow leayes." 

" There was one like a wall shutting out the sun 
when he went down," answered Audrey. " It was 
black and grim, and the light flared like a fire behind 
it. And there was the one above which the moon 
rose. It was sharp, pointing like a finger to heaven, 
and I liked it best. Do you remember how lai^was 
the moon pushing up behind the pine-trees? We sat 
on the dark hillside watching it, and you told me 
beautiful stories, while the moon rose higher and 
higher and the mockingbirds began to sing." 

Haward remembered not, but he said that he did 
so. '* The moon is full again," he continued, " and 
last night I heard a mockingbird in the garden. I 
will come in Uie barge to-morrow evening, and the 
negroes shall row us up and down the river — you and 
me and Mistress Deborah — between the sunset and 
die moonrise. Then it is lonely and sweet upon the 
water. The roses can be smelled from the banks, and 
if yon will speak to the mockingbirds we shall have 
music, dryad Audrey, brown maid of the woods ! " 



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A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY 193 

Audrey's langb was silver-cle&r and sweet, like that 
of a forest nymph indeed. Slie was quite bappy 
again, witli all her half-formed doubts and fears al- 
layed. They had never been of him, — only of her- 
self. The two sat within the green and swaying 
fountain of the willow, and time went by on eagle 
wings. Too soon came the slave to call them to the 
bouse ; the time within, though spent in the company 
of Darden and his wife, passed too soon ; too soon 
came the long shadows of the afternoon and Haward's 
call for his horse. 

Audrey watched him ride away, and the love Hght was 
in her eyes. She did not know that it was so. That 
night, in her bare little room, when the candle was 
out, she kneeled by the window and looked at the 
stars. There was one very fair and golden, an em- 
press of the night " That is the princess," said 
Audrey, and smiled upon the peerless star. Far from 
that light, scarce free from the murk of the horizon, 
shone a little star, companionless in the night. " And 
that is I," said Audrey, and smiled upon herself. 



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CHAPTER XIV 

THE BEIfD IN THE ROAD 

" ' Brave Derwentw&tei he U dead ; 

From his fui body they took, the head : 
Bat Mackiiitoah and his frieods are fled. 
And they '11 set the hat npon another head ' " — 

chanted tite Fair View storekeeper, and looked aside 
at Mistress Truelove Taberer, spinDing in the door- 
way of her father's house. 

Truelove answered naught, but her hands went to 
and fro, and her eyes were for her work, not for Mac- 
lican, sitting on the doorstep at her feet. 

" ' And whether thej "» gooe beyond the sea ' " — 
The exile broke ofF and sighed heavily. Before die 
two a little yard, all gay with hollyhocks and roses, 
sloped down to the wider of the two creeks between 
which stretched the Fair View plantation. It was 
late <^ a holiday afternoon. A storm was brewing, 
darkening all the water, and erecting above the sweep 
of woods monstrous towers of gray cloud. There 
must have been an echo, for MacLean's sigh came 
back to him faintly, as became an echo. 

" Is there not peace here, ' beyond the sea ' ? " said 
Tmelove softly. " Thine must be a dreadful country, 
Angus MacLean ! " 

The Highlander looked at her with kindling eyes. 
" Now had I the harp of old Murdoch I " he said. 



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THE BEND IN THE EOAD igS 

" * Dear ia that land to the east, 
Albaof theiakeal 
Oh, that I might dwell th«M f OTerer ' " — 

He turned upon tbe doorstep, and taking between 
hia fingers the hem of Truelove's apron fell to plait- 
ing it. " A wonian named Deirdre, who lived before 
the days of Gillean-na-Tuaidbe, made that song. 8he 
was not bom in that land, but it was dear to her be- 
cause she dwelt there with the man whom she loved. 
They went away, and the man was slain ; and where 
he was buried, there Deirdre east herself down and 
died." His voice ehanged, and all the melancholy of 
his race, deep, wild, and tender, looked from his eyes. 
" If to-day yon found yourself in that loved land, if 
this parched grass were brown faeather, if it stretched 
down to a tarn yonder, if that gray cloud that hath all 
the seeming of a crag were cn^ indeed, and eagles 
plied between the tarn and it," — he touched her 
hand that lay idle now upon her knee, — " if you 
came like Deirdre lightly through the heather, and 
found me lying here, and found more red than should 
be in the tartan of the MacLeaus, what would you do, 
Truelove? What would you cry out, Truelove? How 
heavy would be thy heart, Truelove ? " 

Truelove sat in silence, with her eyes upon the sky 
above the dream crags. "How heavy would grow 
thy heart, Truelove, Truelove ? " whispered the High- 
lander. 

Up the winding water, to the sedges and reeds 
below the little yard, glided the boy Ephr^m in his 
boat. Tbe Qnakeress started, and the color flamed 
into her gentle face. She took up the distaff that she 
had dropped, and fell to work agun. "Thee must 
not speak to me so, Angus MacLean," she sud. 



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196 AUDEET 

" I trust that my heart is not hard. Thy death 
would grieve me, and my father and my moUier and 
Ephtaim " — 

"I care not for thy father and mother and Ephra- 
im 1 " MacLean began impetuously. " But you do 
right to chide me. Once I knew a green glen where 
maidens were faiu when paused at their doors Angus, 
son of Hector, son of Lachhm, son of Murdoch, son 
of Angus that was named for Angus Mor, who was 
great-grandson of Hector of the Battles, who was son 
of Lachlan Lubanachl But here I am a landless 
man, with none to do me honor, — a wretch bereft of 
liberty " — 

"To me, to all Friends," said Truelove sweetly, 
halting a little in her work, " thee has now what thee 
thyself calls freedom. For (rod meant not that one 
of his creatures should say to another : ' Lo, here am 
I ! Behold thy Grod I ' To me, and my father and 
mother and Ephrum, thee is no bond servant of Maf 
madnhe Haward. But thee is bond servant to thy 
own vain songs ; thy violent words ; thy idle pride, 
that, vaunting the cruel deeds of thy forefathers, calls 
meehness and submission the last worst evil ; thy 
shameless reverence for those thy fellow creatures, 
James Stewart and him whom thee calls the chief of 
thy house, — forgetting that there is but one house, 
and that God is its head ; thy love of clamor and war- 
fare ; thy hatred of the ways of peace " — 

MacLean laughed. " I hate not all its ways. 
There is no hatred in my heart for this bouse which 
is its altar, nor for the priest«ss of the altar. Ah I 
now yon frown, Truelove" — 

Across the donds ran so fierce a line of gold that 
Truelove, startled, put her hand before her eyes. 



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THE BEND IN THE EOAD 197 

Another dart of lightning, a low roll of thunder, a 
bending apart of the alder boshes ob the far side of 
the oreek ; then a woman's voice calling to the boy in 
the boat to come ferry her over. 

" Who may that be ? " ashed Truelove wonder^ 
ingly- 

It was only a little way to the bending alders. 
Ephrum rowed across the glassy water, dark beneath 
the approach of the storm ; the woman stepped into 
the boat, and the tiny craft came lightly back to its 
haven beneath the bank. 

" It is Darden'a Andrey," said the storekeeper. 

Tmelove shrank a little, and her eyes darkened. 
" Why should she come here ? I never knew her. It 
is true that we may not think evil, but — but " — 

MacLean moved restlessly. " I have seen the girl 
but twice," he said. " Once she was alone, once — 
It is my friend of whom I think. I know what they 
say, but, by St. Kattan I I hold him a gentleman too 
high of mind, too noble — There was a tale I used 
to hear when I was a boy. A long, long time ago a 
girl lived in the shadow of the tower of Duart, and 
the chief looked down from his walls and saw her. 
Afterwards they walked t<^ther by the shore and 
through the glens, and he cried her health when he 
drank in his hall, sitting amongst his tacksmen. Then 
what the men whispered the women spoke aloud ; and 
so, more quickly than the tarie is borne, word went to 
a man of the MacDonalds who loved the Doart 
maiden. Not like a lover to hie tryst did he come. 
In the handle of his dirk the rich stones sparkled as 
they rose and fell with the rise and fall of the 
maiden's white bosom. She prayed to die in his 
arm!! ; for it was not Duart that she loved, but him. 



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198 AUDRET 

She died, and they suooded her hair and buried her. 
Doart went overaeaa ; the man of the MacDonalds 
killed himself. It was all wrought with threads of 
gossamer, — idle fancy, shrugs, smiles, whispers, slur- 
ring speech, — and it was long ago. But there is yet 
gossamer to be had for the gathering ; it gleams on 
every hand these summer mornings." 

By now Darden's Audrey had left the boat and was 
close upon them. MacLean arose, and TrueWe 
hastily pushed aside her wheeL " Is thee seeking 
shelter from the storm? " she asked tremulously, and 
with her cheeks as pink as a seashell. " Will thee sit 
herewith us ? The storm will not break yet awhile." 

Audrey heeded her not, her eyes being for MacLean, 
She had been running, — running mora swiftly than 
for a thousand May Day guineas. Even now, though 
her breath came short, every line of her slender figure 
was tense, and she was ready to be off like an arrow. 
" You are Mr. Haward's friend ? " she cried. " I have 
heard him say that yoa were so — call you a brave 
gentleman " — 

MacLean's dark face flushed. " Yes, we are friends, 
— I thank God for it. What have you to do with 
that, my lass ? " 

" I also am bis friend," said Audrey, coming nearer. 
Her hands were clasped, her bosom heaving. " Listen ! 
To-day I was sent on an errand to a honse far up 
this creek. Coming back, I took the short way borne 
through the woods because of the storm. It led me 
past the schoolhouse down by the big swamp. I 
thought that no one was there, and I went and sat 
down upon the steps to rest a moment. The door be- 
hind me was partly open. Then I heard two voices : 
the whoolmaster and Jean Hngon were inside — oloee 



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THE BEKD IN THE BOAD 199 

to me — talking. I would have nm away, bat I beard 
Mr. Haward's name." Her Hand went to her heart, 
and she drew a sobbing breath. 

" "Well 1 " cried MacLean sharply. 

" Mr. Haward went yesterday to Williamsbnrgh — 
alone — without Juba. He rides back — alone — to 
Fair View late this afternoon — he is riding now. 
Yon know the sharp bend in the road, with the steep 
bank above and the pond below 7 " 

" Ay, where the road nears the river. Well ? " 

" I heard iUl that Hngon and the Bohoolmaeter SEud. 
[ hid behind a fallen tree and watched them leave the 
Bchoolhouse ; then I followed them, making no noise, 
back to the creek, where Hugon had a boat. They 
crossed the creek, and fastened the boat on this side. 
I could follow them no farther ; the woods hid them ; 
but they have gone downstream to that bend in the 
road. Hugon bad his hunting-knife and pistob ; the 
schoolmaster carried a coil of rope." She flung back 
her head, and her hands went to her throat as though 
she were stifling. " The turn in the road is very ebarp. 
Just past the bend they wUl stretch the rope from side 
to side, fastening it to two trees. He will be hurrying 
home before the bursting of the storm — he will be 
riding the planter's pace " — 

'* Man and horse will come crashing down I " cried 
the storekeeper, with a great oath " And then " — 

"Hugon's knife, so there will be no noise. . . . 
They think he has gold upon him : that is for the 
Bohoolmaster. . . . Hugon is an Indian, and he will 
hide their trail. Men will think that some outlying 
slave was in the woods, and set upon and killed him." 

Her voice broke ; then went on, gathering strength : 
" It was so late, and I knew that he would ride fast 



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200 AUDB£T 

because of the Btorm. I remembered this boose, and 
tbonght that, if I called, some one might come and 
feny me over the creek. Now I will ran through the 
woods to the road, for I must reach it before he passes 
on his way to where thej wait." She tamed her face 
toward the pine wood beyond the bouse. 

" Ay, that is best I " agreed the storekeeper. 
" Warned, be can take the long way home, and Ho- 
gon and this other may be dealt with at bis leisure. 
Come, my girl ; there 's no time to lose." 

They left behind them the creek, the blocnning 
dooryard, the small white bouse, and the gentle 
Quakeress. The woods received them, and they came 
into a world of livid greens and grays dasbed here 
and there with ebony, — a world that, expectant of 
the atorm, had caught and was holding its breath. 
Save for the noise of their feet upon dry leaves that . 
rustled like paper, the wood was sonndless. The 
light that lay within it, fallen from skies of iron, was 
wild and sinister; there was no air, and the heat 
wrapped them like a mantle. So motionless were all 
things, so fixed in quietude each branch and bough, 
each leaf or twig or slender needle of the pine, that 
they seemed to be fleeing through a. wood of sbme, 
jade and malachite, emerald and agate. 

They hurried on, not wasting breath in speech. 
Now and again MacLeau glanced aside at the girl, 
who kept beside him, moving as lightly as presently 
would move the leaves when the wind arose. He re- 
membered certain scurrilous words spoken in the store 
a week agone by a knot of purchasers, but when be 
looked at her face he thought of the Highland maiden 
whose story he had told. As for Audrey, she saw not 
the woods that she loved, beard not the leaves beneath 



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THE BEND IN THE ROAD 201 

ber feet, knew not if the light were gold or gray. She 
saw only a horse and rider riding from Williamsbo^h, 
heard only the rapid hoofbeats. All there was of her 
was one dumh prayer for the rider's safety. Her mem- 
ory told her that it was no great distance to the road, 
hut her heart cried out that it was bo far away, — bo 
far away ! When the wood thinned, and they saw he- 
fore them the dusty strip, pallid and lonely beneath 
the storm elouds, her heart leaped within her ; then 
grew sick for fear that he had gone by. When they 
stood, ankle-deep in the dust, she looked first toward 
the north, and t^en to the south. Nothing moved ; all 
was barren, hushed, and lonely. 

"How can we know? How oan we know?" she 
cried, and wrung her hands. 

MacLean's keen eyes were busily searching for any 
sign that a horseman had lately passed that way. At 
a little distance above them a shallow stream of some 
width flowed across the way, and to this the High- 
lander hastened, looked with attention at the road-bed 
where it emerged from the water, then came back to 
Audrey with a satisfied air. "There are no hoof- 
prints," he said. " No marks upon the dust. None 
can have passed for some hours." 

A rotted log, streaked with velvet moss and blotched 
with fan-shaped, orange-colored fungi, lay by the way- 
side, and the two sat down upon it to wait for the 
coming horseman. Overhead the thunder was rolling, 
but thero was as yet no breath of wind, no splash of 
raindrops. Opposite diem rose a gigantic pine, tower- 
ing above the forest, red-brown trunk and ultimate 
cone of deep green foliage alike onthned ^;ainst the 
dead gloom of the sky. Audrey shook hack ber heavy 
hair and raised her face to the roof of the world ; her 



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bands were clasped npon lier knee ; her bare feet, slim 
and brown, rested on a carpet of moss ; she WS8 as still 
as the forest, of which, to the Highlander, she sud- 
denly seemed a part. When they had kept silence for 
what seemed a long time, he spoke to her with some 
hesitation : " You have known Mr. Haward but a short 
while; the months are very few since he came from 
England." 

The name brought Audrey down to eartii again. 
" Did you not know ? " she asked wonderingly. " You 
also are his friend, — you see him often. I thought 
that at times he would have spoken of me." For a 
moment her face was troubled, though only for a mo- 
meut. "But I know why he did not so," she said 
softly to herself. " He is not one to speak of his good 
deed^." She turned toward MaoLean, who was atteD< 
tively watching her. " But I may speak of them," she 
said, with pride. "I have known Mr. Ha, ward for 
years and years. He saved my life ; be brought me 
here from the Indian country ; be was, he is, so kind 
to me I " 

Since the afternoon beneath the willow-tree, Ho- 
ward, while encoaraging her to speak of her long past, 
her sylvan childhood, her dream memories, had some- 
what sternly checked every expression of gratitude for 
the part which he himself had played or was playing, 
in the drama of her life. Walking in the minister's 
orchard, sitting in the garden or upon the terrace of 
Fair View house, drifting on the sunset river, be 
waved that aside, and went on to teach her another 
lesson. The teaching was exquisite ; but when the 
lesson for the day was over, and he was alone, he sat 
with one whom he despised. The learning was exqui- 
^te ; it was the sweetest song, but she Wew not its 



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THE BEND IN THE ROAD 203 

n&me, and tbe words were in a strange tongad. She 
was Audrey, that she knew ; and he, — he was the 
plumed knight, who, for the lack of a better listener, 
told her gracious tales of love, showed her how warm 
and beautiful was tiiis world that she sometimes thought 
so sad, sang to her sweet lines that poets had made. 
' Over and through all she thought she read the name 
of the princess. She had heard him say that with 
the breaking of the heat he should go to Westover, 
and one day, early in summer, he bad ehown her the ' 
miniature of Evelyn Byrd. Because she loved him 
blindly, and because he was wise in his generation, 
her trust in him was steadfast as her native hills, 
large as her faith in God. Now it was sweet beneath 
her tongue to be able to tell one that was his friend 
how worthy of all friendahip — nay, all reverence — 
he was. She spoke simply, but with that strange 
power of expression which nature had given her. 
Gestures with her hands, quick changes in the tone of 
her voice, a countenance that gave ample utterance io 
the moment's thought, — as one morning in the Fair 
View library she had brought into being that long 
dead Eloi'sa whose lines she spoke, so now her auditor 
of to-day thought that be saw the things of which she 
told. 

She had risen, and was standing in the wild light, 
against the background of the forest that was breath- 
less, as if it too listened. " And so he brought me 
safely to this land," she said. '* And so he left me 
here for ten years, safe and happy, he thought. He 
has told me that all that while he thought of me as 
safe and happy. That I was not so, — why, that was 
not his fault I When he came back I was both. I 
have never seen the sunshine so bright or the woods 



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2M AUDREY 

BO fair as they bave been this summer. The people 
with whom I live are always kind to me now, — that 
is his doing. And ah I it is because he would not let 
Hugon scare or barm me that that wieked Indian 
waits for him now beyond the bend in the road." At 
the thought of Hugon she shuddered, and her eyes 
began to widen. "Have we not been here a long 
time?" she cried. "Are you sore? Oh, God! per- 
haps he has passed I " 

*' No, Qo," answered MacLean, with his hand upon 
her arm. " There is no sign that be has done so. It 
is not late; it is that heavy cloud above our beads 
that has so darkened the air. Ferbape be has not left 
Williamsburgh at all ; perhaps, the storm threatening, 
he waits until to-morrow." 

From the cloud above came a blinding light and a 
great crash of thunder, — the one so intense, the other 
60 tremendous, that for a minute the two stood as if 
stunned. Then, " The tree ! " cried Audrey. The 
great pine, blasted and afire, uprooted itself and fell 
from tiiem like a reed that the wind has] snapped. 
The thunder crash, and the din with which the tree 
met its fellows of the forest, bore them down, and 
finally struck the earth from which it came, seemed 
an alarum to waken all nature from its sleep. The 
thunder became incesaant, and the wind suddenly 
arising the forest stretched itself and began to speak 
with no uncertain voice. MacLean took bis seat 
ag^n upon the log, but Audrey slipped into the road, 
and stood in the whirling dust, her arm raised above 
her eyes, looking for the horseman whose approach 
she could not hope to hear through the clamor of the 
storm. The wind lifted her long hair, and the rising 
dust half obscured her form, bent agunst the blast. 



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THE BEND IN THE ROAD 20B 

On the lonesome road, in the partial light, she had 
the seeming of an apparition, a creature tossed like a 
ball from the surging forest. She had made herself a 
world, and she had become its product. In all her 
ways, to the day of her death, there was about her a 
touch of mirage, illusion, fantasy. The Highlander, 
imaginative like all his race, and a believer in things 
not of hearen nor of earth, tbonght of spirits of tW 
glen and the shore. 

There was no rain as yet ; only the hurly-burly of 
the forest, the white dust cloud, and the wild commo- 
tion overhead. Audrey turned to MaoLean, watching 
her in ulence. " He is coming I " she cried. " Then 
is some one with him. Now, now he is safe 1 " 



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CHAPTER XV 

HDQON SPEAKS HIS HIND 

UACliEAif sprang up from the Ic^, and, joining her, 
Baw indeed two horsemen galloping toward them, their 
beads bent and riding cloaks raised to shield them 
from the whirlwind of dnst, dead leaves, and broken 
twigs. He knew Haward's powerful steed Mirza, bnt 
tite other horse was strange. 

The two rode fast. A moment, and they were 
splashing through the stream ; another, and the horses, 
startled by Audrey's cry and waving arms and by the 
snddea and violent check on the part of their riders, 
were rearing and curveting across the road. " What 
the devil ! " cried one of the horsemen. " Imp or 
sprite, or whatever you are, look out ! Haward, your 
horse will trample her ! " 

But Audrey, with her hand on Mirza's bridle, had 
no fears. Haward stared at her in amazement. 
'* Child, what are yon doing here ? Angus, you too I " 
as the storekeeper advanced. '* What rendezvous is 
this ? Mirza, be quiet I " 

Audrey left her warning to be spoken by MacLean. 
She was at peace, her head i^ainat Mirza's neck, her 
eyes upon Haward's face, clear in the flashing light- 
ning. That gentleman heard the story with his usual 
calmness ; his companion first swore, and then laughed. 

" Here *B a Canterbury tale I " he cried. " Egad, 



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AUDREY LEFT HER WARNING TO BE SPOKEN BY MACLEAN 



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HTTGOK SPEAKS HIS UINB 207 

Haward, are we to take this skipping rope, vault it as 
thougk we were conrtien of Lilliput 7 Neither of ua 
is armed. I conceive that the longest way around 
will prove our shortest way home." 

" My dear Colonel, I want to speak with these two 
gentlemen." 

"But at your leisure, my friend, at your leisure, 
and not in dying tones I I like not what I hear of 
Monsieur Jean Hugon's pistols. Flank an ambush ; 
don't ride into it open-eyed." 

" Colonel Byrd is right," said the storekeeper ear- 
nestly. " lUde back, the two of you, and take the 
bridle path that will carry you to Fair View by way 
of the upper bridge. In the mean time, I will run 
through the woods to Mr. Taberer's house, cross there, 
hurry to the quarters, rouse the overseer, and with a 
man or two we will recross the creek by the lower 
bridge, and coming npon these rogues unawares, give 
them a taste of their own medicine I We '11 hale them 
to die great house ; you shall have speech of them in 
your own haU." 

Neither of the riders being able to su^^st a better 
plan, the storekeeper, with a wave of his hand, plunged 
into the forest, and was soon lost to view amidst its 
serried trunks and waving branches. Haward stooped 
from his saddle ; Audrey set her bare foot upon his 
booted one, and he swung her up behind him. "Put 
thine arm around me, cHld," he told her. " We will 
ride swiftly through the storm. Now, Colonel, to 
turn our backs upon the enemy !" 

The lightning was about them, and they raced to 
the booming of the thunder. Heavy raindrops began 
to fall, and the wind was a power to drive the riders 
on. Its voioe shrilled above the diapason of the thnn- 



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der; the forest swung to its long cry. When the 
horses tamed from the wide into the narrow road, 
they could no longer go abreast. Miiza took the 
lead, and the bay fell a lengtli behind. The branches 
now hid the sky ; between the flashes there was Stygian 
gloom, but when tlie lightning came it showed far 
aisles of the forest. There was the smell of rain upon 
dos^ earth, there was the wine of coolness after heat, 
there was the sense of being borne upon the wind, 
there was the leaping of life within the veins to meet 
the awakened life without. Aodrey closed her eyes, 
and wished to ride thus forever. Haward, too, travel- 
ing fast through mist and nun a road whose end was 
hidden, facing the wet wind, hearing the voices of 
earth and sky, felt his spirit mount with the mounting 
Toices. So to ride with Love to doom I On, and on, 
and on I Left behind the sophist, the apologist, the 
lover of the world with his tinsel that was not gold, 
his pebUes that were not gems I Only the man thun- 
dering on, — the man and his mate that was meant 
for him since time began I He raised his face to the 
strife above, be drew his breath, his hand closed over 
the hand of the woman riding with him. At tbe 
tonoh a thrill ran through them both ; had the light- 
ning with a sword of flame cut the world from beneath 
tb«r feet, they had passed on, immortal in their hap- 
piness. But the bolts struck aimlessly, and the mo- 
ment fled. Haward was Haward again ; he rec<^nized 
his old acquaintance with a half-bumorous, half-dis- 
dainfnl smile. The road was no longer a road that 
Reamed athwart all time and space ; the wind bad lost 
its trumpet tone ; Ix>ve spoke not in the thunder, nor 
seemed so high a thing as the lit heaven. Audrey's 
luuid was y^ within his olasp; but it was flesh «id 



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HD60H SPEAKS HIS MIND 209 

blood that he touched, not spirit, and he was glad that 
it was so. For her, her cheek burned, and she hid her 
BjGB. She had looked onawareB, as by the lightning 
glare, into a world of which she had not dreamed. 
Its portak had shut ; she rode on in the twilight 
again, and she oould not clearly remember what she 
had seen. But she was sure that die air of that oonn- 
try waa sweet, she was faint with its beauty, her heart 
beat with Tiolence to its far echoes. Moreover, she 
was dimly aware that in the moment when she had 
looked there had been a baptism. She had thought 
of herself as a child, as a girl ; now and for evermore 
flhe was a woman. 

They left the forest behind, and came to open fields 
where the tobacco had been beaten to earth. The 
trees now stood singly or in shivering copses. Above, 
the heavens were bare to their gaze, and the lightning 
gave glimpses of pale castles overhanging steel-gray, 
fathomless abysses. The road widened, and the bay 
was pushed by its rider to Mirza's side. Fields of 
com where the long blades wildly clashed, a wood of 
dripping cedars, a patch of Oronoko, tobacco house in 
midst, rising ground and a vision of the river, then a 
swift descent to the lower creek, and the bridge across 
which lay the road that ran to the minister's house. 
Audrey spoke earnestly to the master of Fur View, 
and after a moment's hesitation he drew rein. *' We 
will not cross. Colonel," he declared. " My preserver 
will have it that she has troubled us long enough ; 
and indeed it is no great distance to the glebe house, 
and the rain has stopped. Have down with thee, 
then, obstinate one I " 

Audrey slipped to the earth, and poshed back her 
htur from her eyes. Colonel Byrd observed her curi- 



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ously. " Faitb," he ezcliumed, " 't is tlie Atalanta o£ 
last May Day ! Well, child, I believe thou hast saved 
our lives. Come, here are three gold baubles that 
may pass for Hippomenes' apples I " 

Audrey put her hands behind her. *' I waot no 
money, sir. What I did was a gift ; it has no price." 
She was only Darden's Audrey, but she spoke as 
proudly as a princess might have spoken. Haward 
smiled to hear her ; and seeing the smile, she was 
comforted. " For he understands," she said to her- 
self. " He would never hurt me so." It did not 
wound her that he said no word, but only lifted his 
hat, when she curtsied to them both. There was to 
moirow, and he would praise her then for her quick- 
ness of wit and her courage in following Hugon, whom 
she feared so much. 

The riders watched her cross the bridge and turn 
into the road that led to the glebe house, then kept 
their own road in silence until it brought them to the 
doors of Fair View. 

It was an hour later, and drawing toward dusk, 
when the Colonel, having changed his wet riding 
clothes for a suit of bis friend's, came down the sturs 
and entered the Fair View drawing-room. Haward, 
in green, with rich lace at throat and wrist, was there 
before him, walking up and down in the cheerful 
light of a fire kindled against the dampness. " No 
sign of onr men," he said, as the other entered. 
** Come to the fire. Futh, Colonel, my russet and 
gold becomes yon mightily I Juba took you the aqua 
vitie?" 

" Aj, in one of your great silver goblets, with a 
forest of mint atop. Ha, this is comfort I " He sank 
into an aimohair, stretched his legs before the blaze, 



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HDGON SPEAKS HIS MIND 311 

and b^an to look about him. " I liave ever said, 
Haward, that of all the gentlemen of my acquaintance 
yoQ have the most exact taste. I told Bubb Doding- 
. ton as much, last year, at Eastbury. Damask, mir< 
rors, paintings, china, cabinets, — all chaste and quiet, 
extremely eleguit, but without ostentatioQ 1 It hath 
an air, too. I would swear a woman bad the placing 
of yonder punted jars I " 

" You are right," said Haward, smiling. " The 
wife of the minister of this parish was good ettough to 
come to my aseistaDce." 

" Ah I " Baid the Colonel dryly. " Did Atalanta 
come as well? She is bis reverence's servant, is she 
not?" 

" No," answered Haward shortly to the last ques- 
tion, and, leaning across, stirred the fire. 

The light caused to sparkle a jeweled pin worn in 
the lace of his ruffles, and the toy caught the Colonel's 
eye. " One of Spotswood's golden horseshoes I " he 
exclaimed. " I had them wrought for him in London. 
Had they been so many stars and garters, he could 
have made no greater pother ! 'T is ten years since I 
saw one." 

Haward detached tbe horseshoe-shaped bauble from 
the lace, and laid it on the other's palm. The master 
of Weetover regarded it curionsly, and read aloud the 
motto engraved upon its back: '"Sic Juvat Tran- 
scendere Montes.' A barren exploit 1 Bat some day 
I too shall please myself and cross these sun-kissing 
hills* And so the maid with die eyes is not his reveiv 
ence's servant ? What is she ? " 

Haward took tbe golden horseshoe in his own hand, 
and fell to studying it in the firelight, " I wore this 
to-night," he said at length, with deliberation, " in 



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212 AUDREY 

order that it might bring to your mind that spri^Uj 
nltramootane expedition in which, my dear Col<mel, 
had you not been in England, yon had nndonbtedly 
bome a part. You have ashed me a qaestion ; I will 
answer it with a story, and so the time may pass more 
rapidly until the arrival of Mr. MacLean with our 
friende who set traps." He turned the mimio horse- 
shoe this way and that, watching the small gems, that 
simnlated nuls, flash in the red light. " Some days 
to the west of Grermanna," he said, " when about us 
were the lesser mountainB, and before oa those that 
propped the sky, we came one sunny noon upon a val- 
ley, a little valley, very peaceful below the heights. 
A stream shoue throagh it, and there were noble trees, 
and beside the stream the cabin of a frontiersman." 

On went the story. The fire crackled, reflecting 
itself in mirrors and polished wood and many small 
window panes. Outside, the rain had ceased, but the 
wind and the river murmured loudly, and the shadows 
of the night were gathering. When the narrative was 
ended, he who had spoken and he who had listened 
sat staring at the fire. " A pretty story ! " said the 
Colonel at last. " Dick Steele shonld have had it ; 
't would have looked vastly well over against his Inkle 
and Yarico, There the maid the savior, here the 
man ; there perfidy, here plain honesty ; there for the 
woman a fate most tn^cal, here " — 

" Here?" said Haward, as the other paused. 

The master of Westover took oat his snuffbox. 
"And here the continued kindness of a young and 
handsome preserver," he said suavely, and extended 
the box to his host. 

" Yon are mistaken," sud Haward. He rose, and 
stood leaning against the mant^ his eyes npon the 



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HUGON SP£A£S HIS MIND 213 

okler man's somewliat ooldl7 smiling eonntenance. 
" She is as innocent, as higli of soul, and as pure of 
heart as — as Evelyn." 

The Colonel clicked to the lid of his box. " Yon 
will be so good as to leave my daughter's name out of 
the conversation." 

"Ab you please," Haward answered, with hauteur. 

Another silence, broken by the guest. " Why did 
you hang that kit-kat of yourself behind the door, 
Haward t " he asked amiably. " 'T is too fine a piece 
to be lost in shadow. I would advise a change with 
yonder shepherdess." 

" I do not know why," siud Haward restleBsly. *' A 
whim. Perhaps by nature I court shadows and dark 



" That is not so," Byrd replied quietly. He had 
tamed in his chair, the better to observe the distant 
portrait that was now lightened, now darkened, as the 
flames rose and felL " A speaMng likeness," he went 
on, glancing from it to the original and back again. 
" I ever thought it one of Kneller's best. The por> 
trait of a gentleman. Only — you have noticed, I 
dare say, how in the firelight familiar objects change 
aspect many times? — only just now it seemed to me 
that it lost that distinction " — 

" Well ? " said Haward, as he paused. 

The Colonel went on slowly : " Lost that distinction, 
and became the portrait of " — 

" Well ? Of whom ? " asked Haward, and, with his 
eyes shaded by his hand, gazed not at the portrait, but 
at the connoisseur in gold and russet. 

" Of a dirty tradesman," said the master of West- 
over lightly. " In a word, of an own brother to Mr. 
Thomas Inkle." 



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A dead silence ; tlien Haward spoke calmly : " I 
viU not take offense, Colonel Byrd. Perhaps I should 
not take it even were it not as my gaeat and in my 
drawing-room that yon have so spoken. We will, if 
yon please, consign my portrait to the obscnrity from 
which it has been dragged. In good time here comes 
Juba to light the candles and set the shadows flee- 
ing." 

Leaving the fire he moved to a window, and stood 
looking out upon the windy twilight. From the back 
of the house came a sound of voices and of footsteps. 
The Colonel put up his snuffbox and brushed a grain 
from his mfdes. " Enter two murderers I " he said 
briskly. " Will you have them here, Haward, or shall 
we go into the hall ? " 

" Light all the candles, Juba," ordered the master. 
** Here, I Uiink, Colonel, where the stage will set them 
off. Juba, go ask Mr. MaolJean and Saundereon to 
bring their prisoners here," 

As he spoke, he turned from the contemplation of 
the night without to the brightly lit room. " This is 
a murderous fellow, this Hugon," he said, as he took 
his seat in a great chair drawn before a table. " X 
have heard Colonel Byrd argue in favor of imitating 
John Kolfe's early e^wriment, and marrying the white 
man to the heathen. We are about to behold the 
result of suoh an union." 

" I would not have the practice universal," said the 
Colonel coolly, " but 't would go far toward remedying 
loss of scalps in this world, and of infidel souls here- 
after. Your sprightly lover is a most prevailing mis- 
sionary. But here is our Huguenot-Monaoan." 

MacLean, very wet and muddy, with one hand 
wrapped in a blood-stained rag, came in first. " We 



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HUGON SP£A£S HIS HIND 215 

fonnd them luddeu in the bushes at the tnrn of the 
road," he said hastily. " The schoolmaster was mora 
peaceably iBcHned than any Quaker, but Hugon fought 
like the wolf that he is. Can't you hang him out of 
hand, Haward? Give me a land where the chief 
doeB justice while the king looks the other way t " 
He turned and beckoned. " Bring them in, Sanadet^ 

There was no discomposure in the sohoolroaster's 
dress, and as little in his face or manner. He bowed 
to the two gentlemen, then shambled across to the fire, 
and as best he could held out his bound hands to the 
grateful blaze. "May I ask, sir," he said, in his life- 
less voice, " why it is that this youth and I, resting in 
all peace and quietness beside a public road, should be 
set upon by your servants, overpowered, bound, and 
haled to your house as to a judgment bar ? " 

Haward, to whom this speech was addressed, gave 
it no attention. His gaze was upon Hugon, who in 
his turn glared at him alone. Haward had a subtle 
power of forcing and fixing the attention of a com- 
pany ; in crowded rooms, without undue utterance or 
moving from his place, he was apt to achieve the cen- 
tre of the stage, the head of the table. Now, the half- 
breed, by very virtue of the passion which, false to his 
Indian blood, shook him like a leaf, of a r^e which 
overmastered and transformed, reached at a hound the 
Englishman's plane of distinction. His great wig, of 
a fashion years gone by, was pulled grotesquely aside, 
showing the high forehead and shaven crown beneath ; 
his laced coat and tawdry waistcoat and rufBed shirt 
were torn and foul with mud and mould, hut the man 
himself made to be forgotten the absurdity of his trap- 
pings. Gone, for him, were his captors, his accom- 



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216 AUDREY 

plice, the spectator in gold and russet ; to Haward, 
also, sitting very cold, very quiet, with narrowed ^ea, 
they were gone. He was angered, and in the mood to 
give rein after bis own fashion to that anger, Mac- 
Lean and the master of Westover, the overseer and 
the schoolmaster, were forgotten, and he and Hugon 
met alone as they might have met in the forest. Be- 
tween them, imd without a spoken word, the two made 
this fact to be recognized by the other occupants of the 
drawing-room. Colonel Byrd, who had been standing 
with his band upon the table, moved backward until 
he joined MacLean beside the closed door ; Saunders 
SOD drew near to the schoolmaster ; aud the centre of 
the room was left to the would-be murderer and the 
victim that had escaped him. 

" Monsieur le Monacan," said Haward. 

Hugon snarled like an angry wolf, and strained at 
the rope which bound his arms. 

Haward went on evenly : " Your tribe has smoked 
tiie peace pipe with the white man. I was not told H 
by singing birds, but by the great white father at 
WilliamBborgb. They buried the hatchet very deep; 
the dead leaves of many moons of Cohonks lie tiiiok 
upon the place where they buried it Why have you 
made a warpath, treading it alone of your color ? " 

" Diable ! " cried Hugon. *' Pig of an Englishman 1 
I will kill you for " — 

" For an handful of blue beads," said Haward, widi 
a cold smile. *' And I, dog of an Indian ! I will 
send a Nottoway to teach the Monacans how to lay a 
anare and hide a traiL" 

The trader, gasping with passion, leaned aoross &e 
table until his eyes were within a foot of Haward's un- 
moved face. " Who showed you the trail and tcJd 



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HUGON SPEAKS HIS MIND 217 

yon of the snare ? " he whispered. " Tell me that, you 
Englishman, — tell me that I " 

" A storm bird," said Havard calmly. " Okee is 
perhaps angry with his Monaoaus, and sent it." 

"Was it Audrey?" 

Haward laughed. " No, it was not Audrey. And so, 
Monaoan, yon have yourself fallen into the pit which 
you digged." 

IVom the fireplace came the schoolmaster's slow 
voice : " Dear sir, can you show the pit ? Why should 
this youth desire to harm yon? Where is the storm 
bird ? Can you whistle it before a justice of the peace 
or into a court room ? " 

If Haward heard, it did not appear. He was lean- 
ing back in his duur, his eyes fixed upon the trader's 
twitching face in a cold and smiling regard. " Well, 
Monacan ? " he demanded. 

The half-breed straightened himself, and with a 
mighty effort strove in vain for a composure that should 
match the other's cold self-command, — a command 
which taunted and stung now at this point, now at 
that. " I am a Frenchman I " he cried, in a voice that 
broke with passion. "I am of the noblesse of the 
land of France, which is a country that is much grander 
than Virginia I Old Pierre at Monacan-Town told 
me these things. My father changed his name when 
he came across the sea, bo I bear not the de which is a 
sign of a great man. Listen, you Englishman! I 
trade, I prosper, I buy me land, I begin to build me a 
house. There ia a girl that I see every hour, every 
minute, while I am building it. She says she loves 
me not, but nevertheless I shall wed her. Now I see 
her in this room, now in that ; she comea down the 
stur, she smiles at the window, she stands on the 



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doorstep to welcome me when I come borne from my 
hinting and trading in the woods so far away. I bring 
her fine skins of the otter, the beaver, and the fawn ; 
beadwork also from the villageB and bracelets of 
copper and pearl. The flowers bloom around her, 
and my heart sings to see her upon my doorstep. . . . 
The flowers are dead, and yon have stolen tiie girl 
away. . . . There was a stream, and the sun shone 
npon it, and you and she were in a boat. I walked 
alone npon the bank, and in my heart I left building 
my house and fell to other work. You laughed ; one 
day you will laugh no more. That was many suns 
ago. I have watched " — 

Foam was upon his lips, and he strained without 
ceasing at his bonds. Already pulled far awry, bis 
great peruke, a cataract of hair streaming over his 
shoulders, shading and softening the swarthy features 
between its curled waves, now slipped from bis head 
and fell to the floor. The change which its absence 
wrought was startling. Of the man the moiety that 
was white disappeared. The shaven head, its poise, 
its features, were Indian ; the soul was Indian, and 
looked from Indian eyes. Suddenly, for the last trans- 
forming touch, came a torrent of words in a strange 
tongue, the tongue of his mother. Of what he was 
speaking, what he was threatening, no one of them 
could tell ; be was a savage giving voice to madness 
and hate. 

Haward pushed back his cb^r from the table, and, 
rising, walked across the room to the window. Hngon 
followed him, stnuning at the rope about bis arms and 
speaking thickly. His eyes were glaring, his teedi 
bared. When he was so close that the Virginian could 
feel his hot breath, the latter turned, and uttering 



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BUGON SPEAKS HIS MIIO) 219 

an oath of disgost struck the back of his hand aoroas 
his hps. WiUi the ory of an animal, Hugon, bonnd 
88 be was, threw himself bodily upon his foe, who in 
his turn flung the trader from him with a violence 
that sent him reeling against the wall. Here Saunder^ 
son, a man of powerful bnild, seized him hj the shonl- 
ders, holding him fast; MacLean, too, hurriedly 
crossed from the door. There was no need, for the 
half-breed's frenzy was spent. He stood with glitter- 
ing eyes following Haward's every motion, bat quite 
silent, his &ame rigid in the overseer's grasp. 

Colonel Byrd went up to Haward and spoke in a 
low voice : " Best send them at once to Williams- 
bui^h." 

Haward shook his head. " I cannot," he said, with 
a gesture of impatience. " There is no proof." 

" No proof I " exclaimed his guest sharply, " You 
mean" — 

The other met Ihs stare of surprise with an imper- 
turbable countenance. " What I say," he answered 
quietly. " My servants find two men lurking beude 
a road that I am traveling. Being somewhat over- 
zealous, they take them up upon suspicion of meaning 
mischief and bring them before me. It is aU guess- 
work why they were at the turn of the road, and what 
they wanted there. There is no proof, no witness " — 

" I see that there is no witness that you care to 
caU," said the Colonel coldly. 

Haward waved his hand. " There is no witness," 
he said, without change of tone. "And therefore, 
Colonel, I am about to dismiss the case." 

With a slight how to his guest he left the window, 
and advanced to the group in the centre of the room. 
" Saonderson," be said abruptly, " take these two men 



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to tlw quarter and cnt their bonds. Give them a start 
of fifty yards, then loose Uie doge and hunt them from 
the plantation. Yon have men outside to help yon ? 
Yety well ; go 1 Mr. MacLean, will you see this chase 
^rly started ? " 

The Highlander, who had become very thonghtfnl 
of aspect since entering the room, and who had not 
shared Saunderson'e start of surprise at the master's 
latest orders, nodded assent. Haward stood for a 
moment gazing steadily at Hugon, but with no notice 
to bestow upon the bowing schoolmaster ; then walked 
over to the harpsiohord, and, sitting down, began to 
play an old tuue, soft and slow, with pauses between 
the notes. When he came to the final <^ord he looked 
over his Bhoulder at the Colonel, standing before the 
mantel, with his eyes upon the fire. " So they have 
gone," he said. " Good riddance ! A pretty brace of 
villains!" 

" I shonld be loath to have Monsieur Jean Hngon 
for my enemy," said the Colonel gravely. 

Haward laughed. " I was told at Williamsburgh 
that a party of traders go to the Southern Indians to- 
morrow, and he with them. Perhaps a month or two 
of the woods will work a cure." 

He fell to playing again, a quiet, plaintive air. 
When it was ended, he rose and went over to the fire 
to keep his guest company ; but finding him in a mood 
for silence, presently fell silent himself, and took to 
viewing structures of his own building in the red hol- 
lows between the logs. This mutual taciturnity lasted 
until the announcement of supper, and was relapsed 
into at intervals during the meal ; but when they had 
xetumed to the drawing-room the two talked until it 
was late, and the fire had sunken to ash and embers. 



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HUGON SP£AKS HIS MIND 221 

Before they parted for the night it was agreed that the 
master of Westover should remain with the master of 
Fair View for a day or so, at the end of which time 
the latt«r gentleman would accompany the former to 
Westover for a visit of indefinite length. 



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CHAPTER XVI 
AnDKET AND EVELTN 

HuGON went a^b-ading to the Southern Indiana, 
bnt had lately returned to his lair at the crossroads 
ordinaiy, when, npon a sunny September morning, 
Androy and MistresB Deborah, mounted upon the sor- 
riest of Darden's sorry steeds, turned from Duke of 
Gloucester into Palace Street. They had parted with 
the minister before his favorite ordinary, and were on 
their way to the house where they themselves wero to 
lodge during the three days of town life which Dar- 
den bad vouchsafed to offer them. 

For a month or more Virginia had been wearing 
black ribbons for the King, who died in June, but in 
the last day or so there had been a reversion to bright 
colors. This cheerful change had been wrought by 
tiie arrival in the York of the Fortune of Bristol, 
with the new governor on board. His Excellency had 
landed at Yorktown, and, after suitable entertainment 
at the hands of its citizens, bad proceeded under es- 
cort to Williamsburgh. The entry into the town was 
triumphal, and when, at the doorway of his Palace, 
the Governor turned, and addressed a pleasing ora- 
tion to the people whom he was to rule in the name ctf 
the King and my Lord of Orkney, enthusiasm reached 
its height. At night the town was illuminated, and 
well-nig^ all its ladies and gentlemen visited the Pal- 



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AUDREY AND EVELYN 223 

ace, in order to pa; their duty to its latest occupant. 
It was a pleasnre-loTing people, and the arrival of a 
governor aa occasion of which the most mast be made. 
Grentlemen of consideration had come in from every 
county, bringing with them wives and daughters. In 
the mild, snnshiny weather the crowded town over- 
flowed into square and street and garden. Every- 
where were bnstle and gayety, — gayety none the less 
for the presence of thirty or more ministers of the 
Established Church. For Mr. Commissary Blair had 
convoked a meeting of the clergy for the considera- 
tion of evils affecting that body, — not, alas I from 
without alone. The Governor, arriving so oppor- 
tunely, must, too, be addressed upon the nsual sub- 
jects of presentation, induction, and all-powerful 
vestries. It was fitting, also, that the college of 
William and Mary should have its say upon the oc- 
casion, and the brightest scholar thereof was even now 
closeted with the Latin master. That the copy of 
veraea giving the welcome of so many future planters, 
But^esses, and members of Council would be choice 
in thought and elegant in expression, there could be 
no reasonable doubt. The Council was to give an 
entertainment at the Capitol ; one day had been set 
aside for a muster of militia in the meadow beyond 
the college, another for a great horse-race ; many 
small parties were arranged ; and last, but not least, on 
the night of the day following Darden's appearance in 
town, his Excellency was to give a ball at the Palace. 
Add to all this that two notorious pirates were standing 
their trial before a court-martial, with every prospect 
of being hanged within the se'ennight ; that a deputa- 
tion of Nottowaya and Meherrins, having business 
with the white fathers in Williamsbu^h, were to be 



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pereoaded to danoe their wildest, whoop their loudest, 
around a bonfire built in the market gqoare ; that at 
the playhouse Cato was to be given with extraordinary 
Do^^ificence, and one may readily see that there 
might have been fonnd, in this sonny September week, 
places less entertuning than Williamsburgh. 

Darden'g old white horse, with its double load, 
plodded along the street that led to the toy Palace of 
this toy capital. The Palace, of course, was not its 
riders' destination ; instead, when they had orossed 
Nicholson Street, they drew np before a particularly 
small white house, so hidden away behind lilac bushes 
and trellised grapevines tiiat it gave but here and 
there a pale hint of its existence. It was planted in 
the shadow of a la^er building, and a path led around 
it to what seemed a pleasant, shady, and extensive 
garden. 

Mistress Deborah gave a sigh of satiBfaction. 
"Seven years come Martinmas since I last stayed 
OTdmight with Mary Sta^ ! And we were bom in 
the same village, and at Bath what mighty friends we 
were I She was playing Dorinda, — that 'a in ' The 
Beaux' Stratt^em,' Audrey, — and her dress was just 
an old striped Persian, vastly unbecoming. Her 

Ladyship's pink alamode, that Major D spilt a 

dish of chocolate over, she gave to me for carrying a 
note ; and I gave it to Mary (she was Mary Baker 
then), — for I looked hideous in pink, — and she was 
that grateful, as well she might be I Mary, Mary I " 

A slender woman, with red-brown hair and faded 
cheeks, came running from the house to the gate. 
" At last, my dear Deborah 1 I vow I had given you 
up ! Says I to Mirabell an hour ago, — you know 
that IS my name for Charles, for 'tins when he 



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AUDREY AND EVELYN S2B 

played Mirabell to my Millamant that we fell in love, 
— ' Well,' sayB I, ' I 'U lay a gold-furbelowed scarf 
to a yard of OEuaborg that Mr, Darden, riding home 
throagh the night, and in liqaor, perhaps, has fallen 
and broken bis neck, and Deborah can't come.' And 
says Mirabell — Bnt la, my dear, there you stand in 
your saf ^oard, and I 'm keeping the gate shut on you I 
Come in. Come in, Audrey. Why, yoa 'to grown 
to be a woman I Yon were just a brown slip of a 
thing, that Lady Day, two years ^o, that I spent 
with Deborah. Come in the both of yon. There are 
cakes and a bottle of Madeira." 

Audrey fastened the horse against the time that 
Darden should remember to send for it, and then fol- 
lowed the ex-waitiDg-woman and the former qaeen of 
a company of strollers up a grassy path and through 
a little green door into a pleasant room, where grape 
leaves wreathed the windows and cast their shadows 
upon a sanded floor. At one end of the room stood a 
great, rudely bnilt cabinet, and before it a long table, 
strewn with an orderly litter of such slender articles 
of apparel as silk and tissue scarfs, gauze hoods, 
breast knots, silk stockings, and embroidered gloves. 
Mistress Deborah must needs run and examine t^ese 
at once, and Mistress Mary Sta^, wife of the lessee, 
manager, and principal actor of the Williamsburgh 
theatre, looked complaoendy over her shoulder. The 
minister's wife sighed i^ain, this time with envy. 

" What with the theatre, and the bowling green, 
and tea in your sommer^bonse, and dancing lessons, 
and HiB sale of these fine things, you and Charles 
must turn a pretty penny t The luck that some folk 
have 1 Tou were ^ways fortunate, Mary." 

Mistress Stagg did not deny the imputation. But 



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she was a kindly sonl, wbo Iiad not forgotten the ^ft 
of my Lady Sqoandet's pink alamode. Tlie obocolate 
stain bad not been ao very large. 

" I 've laid by a pretty piece of sarcenet of whicb 
to make yoo a capndiin," she sud promptly. *' Nov, 
here 's the wine. Shan't we go into the garden, and 
sip it there? Fe^^," to the black girl holding a 
salver, " put the cake and wine on the table in the 
arbor ; then sit here by the window, and call me if 
any come. My dear Deborah, I doubt if I have so 
much as a ribbon left by the end of the week. The 
(own is that gay I I says to Mirabell this morning, 
says I, ' Loi'd, my dear, it a'most puts me in mind of 
Bath 1 ' And Mirabell says — But here 's the garden 
door. Now, is n't it cool and pleasant out here ? Au- 
drey may gather us some grapes. Yes, they 're very 
fine, full bunches ; it has been a bounteous year." 

The grape arbor hugged the house, but beyond it 
was a pret^, shady, fancifully laid out garden, with 
shell-bordered walks, a grotto, a aununer-bouse, and a 
gate opening into Nicholson Street. Beyond the gar- 
den a ghmpse was to be oaught through the trees of a 
trim bowling green. It had rained the night before, 
and a delightful, almost vernal freshness breathed in 
the lur. The bees made a great buzzing amongst the 
grapes, and the birds in the mulberry-trees sang as 
though it were nesting time. Mistress Stagg and her 
old acquaintance sat at a table placed in the shadow 
of the vines, and sipped their wine, while Andrey 
obediently gathered clusters of the parple fruit, and 
thought the garden very fine, but oh, not like — There 
could be no garden in the world so beautiful and so 
dear as that I And she had not seen it for so long, 
so long a time. She wondered if she would ever see 
it ^;ain. 



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AUDREY AND EVELYN 227 

When she brought the fruit to the table, Miatress 
St^g made room for her kindly enough ; and she aat 
and drank her wiue and went to her world of dreams, 
while her companionB bartered town and oonntry go»- 
sip. It has been said that the Bmall white house ad- 
joined a larger building. A window in this strnctare, 
which had much the appearance of a barn, waa now 
opened, with the result that a confused sound, as of 
several people speaking at once, made itself heard. 
Suddenly the noise gave place to a single high-pitched 
voice : — 

" ' Welcome, my son ! Hers lay him down, my ftienda, 
Fnll in my eight, that I may Tiaw &t laiflore 
The bloody cone, and ooniit those glorions womuU.* " 

A smile irradiated Mistress Stagg's &ded counte- 
nance, and she blew a kiss toward die open window. 
" He does Cato so extremely well ; and it 'e a grave, 
dull, odd character, too. But Mirabell — that 's 
Charles, you know — manages to put a little life in it, 
SkJene sais quoi, a touch of Sir Han-y Wildatr. Now 
— now he 's pulling out his laced handkerchief to weep 
over Bome \ You should see him after he has fallen 
on his sword, and is brought on in a chair, all over 
blood. This is the third rehearsal ; the play 's ordered 
for Monday n%ht. Who is it, Peggy ? Madam Tra- 
vis ! It 's about the lace for her damask petticoat, 
and there 's no telling how long she may keep me 1 
My dear Deborah, when you have finished your wine, 
Peggy shaU show you your room. You must make 
yourself quite at home. For says I to Mirabell this 
morning, < Far be it from me to forget past kindnesses, 
and in those old Bath days Deborah was a good friend 
to me, — which was no wonder, to be sure, seeing that 
when we were little girls we went to the same dame 



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Bohool, and always learned our book and worked onr 
samplers together.' And says Mirabell — Yes, yes, 
ma'am, I 'm ooming I " 

Slie disappeared, and the hlaek girl showed the two 
guests through Uie ball and up a tiny stairway into a 
litUe dormer-windowed, whitewashed room. Mistress 
Deborah, who still wore remnants of my Lady Squan- 
der's ancient ^fts of spoiled finery, had likewise failed 
to discard the second-hand fine-lady airs acquired 
daring her service. She now declared herself exces- 
sirely tared by her morning ride, and martyr, besides, 
to a migraine. Moreover, it was enough to give one the 
spleen to hear Mary Stagg's magpie chatter and to see 
bow some folk throve, willy-nilly, while others jost as 
good — Here tears of vexation ensued, and she must 
lie down upon the bed and call in a feeble voice for 
her nnelling salts. Audrey hurriedly searched in the 
ragged portmanteau brought to town the day before 
in the ox-cart of an obliging parishioner, found the 
flask, and took it to the bedside, to receive in exchange 
a sound box of the ear for her tardiness. The blow 
reddened her cheek, but brought no tears to her eyes. 
It was too small a thing to weep for ; tears were for 
blows upon the heart. 

It was a cool imd quiet little room, and Mistress 
Deborah, who had drunk two full glasses of the Ma- 
deira, presently fell asleep. Audrey sat very still, her 
hands folded in her lap and her ^es upon them, 
until Uieir hostess's voice announced from the foot 
of the stturs that Madam Travis had taken her de- 
partore. She then slipped from the room, and was 
affably received below, and taken into the apart- 
ment which they had first entered. Here Mistress 
Stagg became at once ezferemely busy. A fan was 



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AUDREY AND EVELYN 92» 

to be moanted; yards of silk gatihered into farbe- 
lows ; breaBt kuots, shoulder knots, sword knots, to 
be made up. Her customers vere all people of qual- 
ity, and unless she did her part not one of them could 
go to the baU. Audrey shyly proffered her aid, and 
was set to changing the ribbons upon a mask. 

Mistress Stag's tongue went as fast as her needle : 
" And Deborah is asleep 1 Poor soul ! she 's sadly 
changed from what she was in old England thirteen 
years ago. As neat a shape as you would see in a day's 
journey, with &e prettiest color, and eyes as bright 
as those marcasite buttons ! And she saw the best c^ 
company at my Lady Squander's, — no lack there oi 
kisses and guineas and fine gentlemen, you may be 
sure I There 's a deal of change in this mortal world, 
and it 's generally for the worse. Here, child, you 
may whip this laoe on Mr. Lightfoot's ruffles. I think 
myself lucky, I can tell you, that there are so few wo- 
men in Cato. If 't were n't so, I should have to go on 
myself ; for since poor, dear, pretty Jane Day died of 
the smallpox, and Oriana Jordan ran away with the 
rascally Bridewell fellow that we boi^ht to play hus- 
bands' parts, and was never heard of more, but is sup- 
posed to have gotten clean off to Barbadoes by favor 
of the master of the Lady Snsan, we have been short 
of actresses. But in this play there are only Maroia 
and Lucia. 'It is extremely fortunate, my dear,* 
said I to Mirabell this very morning, 'that in this 
play, which is the proper compliment to a great gen- 
tleman just taking office, Mr. Addison should have 
put no more than two women.' And Mirabel! says — 
Don't put the laoe so full, child ; 't won't go round." 

" A chair is stopping at the gate," said Audrey, who 
sat by the window. " There 's a lady in it." 



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Tlie chair was a very fine painted one, borne by 
two gayly dressed negroes, and escorted by a trio 
of beribboned yonng gentlemen, prodigal of gallant 
speecbes, amorous sighs, and binguisliing glances. 
Misbresa Stagg looked, started up, and, without wait- 
ing to nuse from the floor the armful of delicate silk 
which she had dropped, was presently curtsying upon 
the doorstep. 

The bearers set down their load. One of die gen< 
tlemen opened the chair door with a flourbh, and the 
divinity, compressing her hoop, descended. A second 
cavalier flung hack Mistress Stagg's gate, and the third, 
with a low how, proffered his hand to conduct the fair 
from the gate to the doorstep. The lady shook her 
head ; a smiling word or two, a slight curtsy, the wave 
of a paiut«d fan, and her attendants found themselves 
dismissed. She came up the path alone, slowly, with 
her head a little bent. Audrey, watching her from 
die window, knew who she was, and her heart beat 
fast. If this lady were in town, then so was he ; he 
would not have stayed behind at Westover. She 
would have left tiie room, hut there was not time. 
The mistress of the house, smiling and obsequious, 
fluttered in, and Evelyn Byrd followed. 

There had been ordered for her a hood of golden 
tissue, with wide and long streamers to be tied beneath 
the chin, and she was come to try it on. Mistress Stagg 
had it all but ready, — there was only the least bit of 
stitchery ; would Mistress Evelyn condescend to wait 
a very few minutes ? She placed a chair, and the 
lady sank into it, finding the quiet c^ the shadowed 
room pleasant enough after the sunlight and talkative- 
ness oi the worM without. Mistress Stagg, in her 
r61e o£ milliner, took the gauzy trifle, called by oouii- 



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AUDKET AND EVELYN 231 

tesj a hood, to the farthest window, and fell basily to 
work. 

It seemed to grow more and more quiet in the room ; 
the shadow of tlie leaves lay still upon the floor ; die 
drowsy hamming of the bees outside the windows, the 
sound of lOunsis in the trees, the distant noisoa of 
the town, — all grew more remote, then suddenly ap- 
peared to cease. 

A udrey raised her eyes, and met the eyes of Evelyn. 
She knew that they had been upon her for a lon^ 
time, in the quiet of the room. She hail sat breatl^ 
less, her head bowed over her work that lay idly in 
her lap, bnt at last she must look, llie two gazed at 
each other with a sorrowful steadfastness; in the 
largeness of their several natures there was no room 
for self-consoioosness ; it was the soul of each that 
gazed. But in the mists of earthly ignorance they 
oould not read what was written, and tliey erred in 
their guessing. Audrey weut not far wide. This 
was the princess, and, out of the fullness of a heart 
that aohed with Ins-i, she coald have knelt and kissed 
the hem of her robe, and wished her long and happy 
life. There was no bitterness in her heart ; she never 
dreamed that she had wronged the princess. But 
Evelyn thought : " This is the girl they talk about 
Ood knows, if he had loved worthily, I might not so 
much have minded I " 

From the garden came a burst of laughter and high 
voices. Mistress Stagg started up. " 'T is our peo- 
ple, Mistress Evelyn, coming from the playhouse. 
We lodge them in the house by the bowling green, 
but after rehearsals they're apt to stop here. I'll 
send them packing. The hood is finished. Audrey 
will set it upon your head, ma'am, while I am gon& 



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S82 AUDKEY 

Here, ebfld 1 Mind yon don't cniali it" She gave 
the hood into Audrey's hands, and hurried from the 
room. 

Evelyn sat motionless, ber silken draperies flomng 
around her, one white arm beot, the soft curve of her 
cheek resting upon ringed fingers. Her eyes yet 
dwelt npon Audrey, standing as motionless, the mist 
of ganze and lace in her hands. "Do not trouble 
yoarself," she said, in her low, clear voice. " I will 
wait until Mistress Stagg returns." 

The tone was very cold, but Audrey scarce noticed 
tbat it was so. '^ If I may, I should like to serve yon, 
ma'am," she said pleadingly. ** I will be very care- 
ful" 

I^eaving the window, sbe came and knelt beside 
Evelyn ; but when she would have put the golden 
hood npon her bead, the other drew back with a ge^ 
ture of aversion, a quick recoil of ber entire frame. 
The hood slipped to the floor. After a moment Audrey 
rose and stepped back a pace or two. Neither spoke, 
but it was the one who thought no evil whose eyes 
first sought the floor. Her dark cheek paled, and her 
lips trembled ; she turned, and going back to her seat 
by the window took up her fallen work. Evelyn, 
with a sharp catch of her breath, withdrew her atten- 
tion from the other occupant of the room, and fixed it 
npon a moted sunbeam lying like a bar between the 
two. 

Mistress Stagg returned. The hood was fitted, and 
its purohaser prepared to leave. Audrey rose and 
made ber curtsy, timidly, but with a quick, appealing 
motion of ber hand. Was not this the lady whom he 
loved, that people said be was to wed? And had he 
not told her, long ago, that he would speak of her to 



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AUSRET AND ETELTN 2SS 

Mistress Evelyn Byrd, and that slie too wonld Iw hex 
friend? Last May Day, when the gnmaa was put 
into her Iiaod, the lady's smile was hright, her voice 
sweet and friendly. Now, how changed ! la her 
craving for a word, a look, from one so near him, one 
that perhaps had seen him not an hour before ; in hor 
sad homage for the ohject of hia love, she foi^ot ber 
late repulse, and grew bold. When Evelyn would 
have passed her, she pnt forth a trembling hand and 
began to speak, to say she scarce knew what ; but the 
words died in her throat. For a moment Evelyn 
stood, her head averted, an angry red staining neck 
and bosom and beautiful, down>bent face. Her eyes 
half dosed, the long lashes quivering against her 
cheek, and she smiled faintly, in scorn of the girl 
and soom of herself. Then, freeing ber skirt from 
Audrey's clasp, she passed in silence from the room. 

Audrey stood at the window, and with wide, pained 
eyes watched her go down the path. Mistress Stagg 
was with her, talking volubly, and Evelyn seemed to 
listen with smiling patience. One of the bedizened 
negroes opened the chair door; the lady entered, and 
was borne away. Before Mistress Stagg could re- 
enter ber bouse Audrey had gone quietly up the wind- 
ing stair to the little whitewashed room, where she 
fonnd the minister's wife astir and restored to good 
humor. Her sleep bad helped her ; she would go 
down at once and see what Mary was at. Darden, 
too, was coming as soon as the meeting at the church 
had adjourned. After dinner they would walk oat 
and see the town, until which time Audrey might do 
as she pleased. When she was gone, Audrey softly 
shot herself in the little room, and lay down upon the 
bed, very still, with her face hidden in her arm. 



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With twelve of the clock came Darden, qaite sober, 
distrait iD manner and uneasy of eye, and presently 
interropted Mistress Stagg's flow o£ conrersation by 
a demand to speak with his wife alone. At that time 
of day the gardtio was a solitude, and thither the two 
repaired, taking their seats upon a bench built round 
a mulbeiTy-tree. 

" Well?" queried Mistress Deborah bitterly. *'I 
suppose Mr. Commissai'y showed himself vastly civil? 
I dare say you 're to preach before the Governor next 
Sunday? Or maybe they've chosen Bailey? He 
boasts that he can drink you under the table I One 
of these iiue days you '11 drink and curse and game 
yourself out of a parish I " 

Dardeu drew figures on the ground with his heavy 
stick. " Ou such a fine day as this," he said, in a 
suppressed voice, and looked askance at the wife 
whom he beat upon occasion, but whose counsel he 
held in respect. 

She turned upon him. " What do yon mean ? 
They talk and talli, and cry shame, — and a shame it 
is, the Lord knows I But it never comes to any- 
thing " — 

*' It has come to this," interrupted Darden, with an 
oath : " that this Governor means to sweep in the 
comers ; that the Commissary — damned Scot I — to- 
day appointed a committee to inquire into the charges 
made against me and Bailey and John Worden ; that 
seven ot my vestrymen are dead against me ; and 
that ' deprivatiou ' has suddenly become a very com- 
mon word ! " 

" Seven of the vestry ? " said his wife, after a pause. 
"Who are they?" 

Dardea told her. 



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AUDREY AND EVELTH 835 

** If Mr. Ha ward " — sbe began slowly, tier green 
eyes steady npon the situation. " There '9 not one of 
that seven would care to disoblige him. I warrant 
yoa he could make them face about. They say he 
knew the Governor in England, too ; and Uiere 's his 
late gift to the college, — the Commissary would n't 
forget that. If Mr. Haward would " — She broke off, 
and with knit brows studied the problem more intently. 

'^ If be would, he oonld," D^en finished for her, 
" With his interest this cloud would go by, as others 
have done before. I know that, Deborah. And that 's 
the card I 'm going to play." 

" If yon had gone to him, hat in hand, a month 
tigo, be 'd have done you any favor," said his helpmate 
soorly. " But it is different now. He 's over his 
fancy ; and besides, he 's at Westover." 

" He *B in William sburgh, at Marot's ordinary," 
said the other. " As for his being over his fancy, — 
I 'II try that. Fancy or no fancy, if a woman asked 
him for a fairing, he would give it her, or I don't 
know my gentleman. We '11 oall his interest a ribbon 
or some such toy, and Androy shall ask him for it." 

" Audrey is a fool ! " cried Mistress Deborah. " And 
you had best be careful, or you '11 prove yourself an- 
other ! There 's been talk enough already. Audrey, 
village innocent that she is, is the only one that 
doesn't know it. The town's not the countiy ; if he 
sets tongues attacking here " — 

" He won't," said Darden roughly. " He 's no 
hare-brained one-and-twenty I And Audrey *s a good 
giiL Go send her here, Deborah. Bid her fetch me 
Stag's inkbom and a pen and a sheet of paper. If 
he does anything for me, it will have to be done 
quickly. They 're in haste to pull me oat of saddle. 



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236 AUDUET 

the damned canting pack I Bat I '11 try condnsioiui 
■with them ! " 

His wife departed, muttering to herself, and the 
reverend Gideon pulled out of his capacioua pocket a 
flask of nsqnehan^h. In five minutes from the time 
chE his setting it to his lips the light in which he viewed 
the situation turned from gray to rose color. By the 
time he espie*! Audrey coming toward him through 
the garden be felt a moral certainty that when be came 
to die (if ever he died) it would be in bis bed in the 
Fair View glebe house. 



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CHAPTER XVn 

WITHW THE PLATHOOBB 

Hawabd, Bitting at the table ia Marot's beat room, 
mote an answer to Audrey's letter, and tore it up ; 
wrote another, and gave it to Juba, to be given to the 
messenger waiting below; recalled the negro before 
he could reach the door, destroyed the second note, 
and wrote a third. The first had been wise and kind, 
telling her that be was much engaged, lightly and 
skillfully waving aside her request — the only one she 
made — that she might see him that day. The second 
had been less wise. The last told her that he would 
come at five o'clock to the summer-house in Mistress 
Stagg's garden. 

When he was alone in the room, be sat for some 
time very still, with his eyes closed and his head thrown 
back against the tall woodwork of bis chair. His face 
was stem in repose : a handsome, even a fine face, 
with a look of power and rejection, but t4>-day some- 
what worn and hazard of aspect. When presently 
he roused himself and took up the letter that lay be- 
fore him, the paper shook in his hand. " Wine, 
Juba," he said to the slave, who now reentered the 
room. " And close the window ; it is growing cold." 

There were but three lines between the " Mr. Ha- 
ward " and " Audrey ; " the writing was stifif and 
oletkly, the words very simple, — a child's asking of a 



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33S AUDBET 

favor. He gaessed rightly that it was tbe first letter 
of her owu tbat fihe had ever written. Suddenly a 
ware of passionate teuderneHB tnok him ; ha bowAcl lua 
head acd kissed the paper; for the moment many- 
threaded life and his owb complex nature alike stnught* 
eued to a beautiful simplicity. Ho was the lover, 
merely ; life was but the light and shadow through 
which moved the woman whom he luved. He came 
back to himself, and tried to think it out, but could 
not. Finally, with a weary impatience, he declined to 
think at all. He was to dine at the Governor's. 
Evelyn would be there. 

Only momentarily, in those days of early summer, 
had he wavered in his determination to make this lady 
his wife. Pride was at the root of his being, — pride 
and a deep self-will ; though because they were so 
sunken, and because poisonous roots can flower most 
deceivingly, he neither called himself nor was called 
of others a proud and willful man. He wished £ve]yn 
for his wife ; nay, more, though on May Day he had 
shown her that be loved ber not, though in June he 
had offered her a love that was only admiring affeo- 
tion, yet in the past month at Westover he had come 
almost to believe that he loved her truly. That she 
was worthy of true love he knew very well. With all 
his strength of will, he had elected to forget the sum- 
mer that lay behind him at Fair View, and to live ia 
tlie summer that was with him at Westover. His sno- 
eess had been gratifying; in the flush of it, he per- 
suaded himself that a chamber of the heart bad beea 
locked forever, and the key thrown away. And lo 
now I a touch, the sudden sight of a name, and the 
door had flown wide ; nay, the very walls were rived 
away I It was not a glance over the shoulder ; it was 
full presence in tbe room so lately sealed. 



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WITHIN THE FLATH0U8B S8» 

He knew that Evelyn loved him. It waa nndra* 
stood of all their acquaintance that he was her 8nH<» ; 
months ago be had formal!; ciared her father's per- 
missioQ to pay his addresses. There were times in 
thrae weeks at Westover when she bad come nigh to 
yielding, to believing that he loved her ; he was cer- 
tain that with time he would have his way. . . . But 
tiie room, the dosed room, in which now he sat I 

He boned hia face in his hands, and was suddenly 
back in spirit in his garden at Fair View. The ohei^ 
ries were ripe; the birds were singing; great butterflies 
went by. The sunshine beat on the dial, on the walks, 
and the smell of the roses was strong as wine. His 
senses swam with the warmth and fragrance; the gar- 
den enlarged itself, and Uaxed in beauty. Never was 
sunshine so golden as that ; never were roses bo large, 
never odors so potentsweet. A spirit walked in the 
garden paths : its name was Audrey. , . , No, it was 
speaking, speaking words of passion and of woe. . . . 
Its name was Eloisa 1 

When he rme from his chair, he staggered slightily, 
and put his hand to his bead. Seoovering himself in 
a moment, he called for his hat and oane, and, leaving 
the ordinary, turned his face toward the Palace. A 
garrulous fellow Councilor, also bidden to his Excel- 
lency's dinner party, overtook him, and, falling into 
step, began to speak first of the pirates' trial, and then 
of the weather. A hot and feverish summer. 'T was 
aud th&t a good third of the servants arriving in the 
country since spring had died of their seasoning. The 
slaver lying in the York had thrown thirty blacks 
overboard in the tan from Barbadoes, — some strange 
sickness or other. Adsbnd I He would not buy from 
the lot the master landed ; had they been white, they 



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210 AUDKET 

had showed like epectres ! September was the wont 
monUi of the year. He did not find Mr. Haward id 
looks DOW. Best consult Dr. Contesse, though indeed 
he himself bad a preveDtiTe of fever which Dever failed. 
E^rst he bled ; tbeD to bo mocb of FeniviaD bark — 

Mr. Haward declared that he was very well, aod 
tamed the cooversatioD piratewards again. 

The dinner at the Palace was somewhat hurried, the 
geDtlomea rising with the ladies, despite the entice- 
meDtd of Burgundy aDd champagne. It was die aftet- 
Doon uet apart for the Indian dance. The bonfire in 
the field behind the magazine had been kindled ; the 
Kottoways and Mebemns were waiting, still as statnes, 
for the gathering of their audience. Before the daDoa 
the great white father was to speak to them ; the peace 
pipe, also, was to be smoked. The towD, gay of mood 
and BDatehing at enjoyment, emptied its people iDto 
the suDDy field. Only they who could not go stayed 
at home. Those light-hearted folk, ministers to a play- 
loving age, who dwelt iu the house by the bowling 
greeD or in the shadow of the theatre itself, must go, 
at all rates. Marcia and Lucia, Syphax, Sempromus, 
and the African prince made off bother, while the 
sons of Cato, who chanced to be twin brothers, fol- 
lowed with a slower step. Their indentures would ex- 
pire next month, and they had thoughts, the one of 
becoming an orerseer, the other of moving np country 
and joining a company of rangers: hence their some- 
what haughty bearing toward their fellow players, 
who — except old Syphar, who acted for the love of 
it ~ bad not even a bowing acquaintance with free- 
dom. 

Mr. and Mrs. Stagg saw their minions depart, and 
then themselves left the little white house iu Palace 



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WITHIN THE FLATHOUSE 242 

Street. Mistress Deborah was witli them, hat not 
Audrey. ** She can't abide the eight of an iDdian," 
sud the ffiinister's wife indiSerently. " Besides, Dar- 
den will be here from the church presently, and he 
may want her to write for him. She and Fe^y can 
mind the house." 

The Capital clock was telling five when Haward 
entei-ed the garden by the Nicholson Street gate. 
There had arisen a zephyr of the evening, to loosen 
the yellow locust leaves and send them down upon the 
path, to lay coo! fingers upon his forehead that burned, 
and to whisper low at his ear. House and garden and 
silent street seemed asleep in the late sunshine, safe 
folded from the storm of sound that raged in the field 
on the border of the town. Distance muffled the In- 
dian drums, and changed the scream of the pipes into 
a far-off w»ling. Savage cries, bursts of applause and 
laughter, — all came softly, blent like the hum of the 
bees, mellow like the sunlight. There was no one in 
the summei^house. Haward walked on to the grape 
arbor, and found there a black girl, who pointed to an 
open door, pertaining not to the small white house, but 
to that portion of the theatre which abutted upon the 
garden. Haward, passing a window of Mr. Stag's 
domicile, was aware of Darden sitting within, much 
eng^^d with a great book and a tankard of sack. He 
made no pause for the vision, and another moment 
found him within the playhouse. 

The sunlight entered in at the door and at one high 
window, but yet the place was dim. The gallery and 
the rude boxes were all in shadow ; the sunbeams from 
the door struck into the pit, while those from the high 
window let fall a shaft of misty light upon the stage 
itself, set for a hall in Utica, with five cane chairs, an 



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242 AUDEET 

ancient settle, and a Spanish table. On tlie settle, in 
tbe pale gold of the falling light, sat Aodraj, her hands 
clasped over her knees, her head thrown back, and her 
eyes fixed upon the shadowy, chill, and Bonndlesa space 
before her. Upon Haward's speaking ber name she 
sighed, and, loosing her bands, turned toward him. 
He came and leaned npon the back of the settle. 
"Yon sent for me, Audrey," ho atoA, and laid bis 
hand lightly npon her hair. 

She shrank from bis touch. "Tfae minister made 
me write tbe letter," she said^ in a low voice. " I did 
not wish to trouble yon, sir." 

Upon her wrist were dark marks. " Did Darden 
do that?" demanded Haward, as be took bis seat 
beside her. 

Audrey looked at tbe bruise indifferently ; then with 
her other hand covered it from sight *' I have a favor 
to ask of Mr. Haward," she stud. " I hope that after 
his many kindnesses be will not refuse to do me this 
greatest one. If he should grant my request, the gratd- 
tnde which I most needs already feel toward bim will 
he increased tenfold." Tbe words came precisely, in 
an even voice. 

Haward smiled. "Child, you have conned your 
lesson well. Leave the words of the book, and tell 
me in your own hmgnage what bis reverence wants." 

Audrey told him, but it seemed to her that he was 
not listening. When she bad come to an end of tbe 
minister's grievances, she sat, with downcast eyes, 
waiting for him to speak, wishing that be would not 
look at her so steadily. She meant never to show bim 
ber heart, — never, never ; but beneath hb gaze it was 
hai-d to keep her obeek from burning, her lip from 
quivering. 



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WITHIN THE FLATHOUSB 243 

At last he spoke : " Would it please yoo, Andrey, 
if I should save this maa from hb jnat deserts 7 " 

Audrey raised her eyes. "He aud Mistress Debo- 
rah are aJl my fi-ieuds," she said. " The glebe hooae 
is my home." 

Deep sadness spoke in voice and eye. The shaft of 
light, moving, had left her in the outer ehadow : she 
sat there with a listless grace ; with a dignity, too, that 
was not without pathos. There had he«in a forlorn 
child ; there had been an unfriended girl ; there was 
now a woman, for Life to fondle or to wreak its rage 
upon. The change was subtle ; one more a Inrer or 
less a Inver than Haward might not have noted it. 
*' I will petition the Commissary to-night," be said, 
*' the Governor ttvmorrow. la your having in friends 
so slight as you say, little maid?" 

Oh, he contd reach to the cjuickl She was sure 
that he had not meaut to accuse her of ingratitade, 
aud pitifully sure that she must have seemed guilty of 
it. " No, no ! " she cried. " I have had a friend " — 
Her voice broke, and she started to her feet, her face 
to the door, all her being quiveringly eager to be gone. 
She had asked that which she was hidden to ask, had 
gained that which she was bidden to gain ; for the 
rest, it was far better that she should go. Better far 
for him to think her dull and thankleiis as a stone 
than see — than see — 

When Haward caught her by the hand, she trem- 
bled and drew a sobbing breath. " * I have had a 
friend,* Audrey ? " he asked. " Why not ' I have a 
friend'?" 

"Why not?" thought Audrey. "Of oourse he 
would think, why not ? Well, then " — 

" I have a friend," she said aloud. ** Have you not 



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SM AUDBET 

beeD to me the btndest friend, the most generoiu** — 
She faltered, but presently went on, a strange ooarage 
coming to her. She had ttimed slightly toward him, 
though she looked not at him, but upward to where 
the light streamed through the high window. It fell 
now upon her face. " It is a great thing to save life," 
she said. " To save a soul alive, how much greater I 
To have kept one ik>u1 in the knowledge that there is 
goodness, mercy, tenderness, God ; to have given it 
bread to eat where it sat among the stones, water to 
drink where all the streams were dry, — oh, a king 
might be prond of that I And that is what yon have 
done for me. . . . "When you sailed away, so many 
years ago, and left me with the minister and his wife, 
they were not always kind. But I knew that yon 
thought them so, and I always said to myself, 'If he 
knew, he would be sorry for me.' At last I said, 'He 
is sorry for me ; there is the sea, and he cannot come, 
bat he knows, and is sorry.' it was make-believe,— 
for yon thought that I was happy, did you not ? — bat 
it helped me very much. I was only a child, you know, 
and I was so very lonely. I could not think of mother 
and Molly, for when I did I saw them as — as I had 
seen them last. The dark scared me, until I found 
that I could pretend that you were holding my hand, 
as yon used to do when night came in the valley. 
After a while X had only to put out my hand, and 
yours was there wutlng for it. I hope that you oan 
understand — I want you to know bow large is my 
debt. ... As I grew, so did the debt "When I was 
a girl it was larger than when I was a child. Do yon 
know with whom I have lived all these years ? There 
is the minister, who comes reeling home from the 
crossroads ordinary, who swears over the dice, who 



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WITHIN THE FLATHOtrSE 245 

teaches oimmng that he calls visdom, laugha at man 
and scarce believes Id God. His band U heavy ; tbu 
is his mark." She held up her bruised wnst to the 
light, then let the band drop. Wbeo she spoke of the 
nuoister, she made a gestnre toward the shadows grow- 
iDg ever thicker and darker in the body of the bouse. 
It was aa though she saw him there, and was pointing 
him out. "There is the minister's wife," she said, and 
the motion of her hand again accused the shadows. 
"Oh, their roof has sheltered me; I have eaten of 
their bread. But truth is truth. Thei-e is the school- 
master with the branded hands. He taught me, yon 
know. There is " — she was looking with wide eyes 
into the deepest of the shadows — " there is Hugoa 1 " 
Her voice died away. Haward did not move or 
speak, and fur a minute there was silence in the dusky 
playhouse, Audrey broke it with a laugh, soft, light, 
and clear, that came oddly upon the mood of the hoar. 
Presently she was speaking again : " I>o yon think it 
strange that I should laugh ? I laughed to think I 
have escaped them all. Do yoa know that they oall 
me a dreamer? Once, deep in the woods, I met the 
witch who lives at the bead of the creek. She told 
me that I was a dream child, and that all my life was 
a dream, and I must pray never to awake ; but I do 
not think she knew, for all that E>be is a witch. They 
none of them know, — none, none I If I had not 
dreamed, as they call it, — if I had watched, and lis- 
tened, and hud to heart, and become like them, — oh, 
then I should have died of your look when at hist you 
camet Bnt I 'dreamed ;' and in that long dream yon, 
though you were overseas, yon showed me, little by 
little, that the spirit is not bond, but free, — that it 
can walk the waves, and climb to the sunset and the 



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SU AUDBET 

stars. And I found tliat the woods were fair, that 
the earth was fair and kind as when I was a little 
child. And I grew to love and long for goodness. 
And, day by day, 1 have had a life and a world where 
flowers bloomed, and the streams ran fresh, and there 
was bread indeed to eat. And it was you that showed 
me the road, that opened for me the gates ! " 

She ceased to speak, and, turning fully toward him, 
took his baud and put it to her lips. "May you be 
very happy ! " she said. " I thank you, sir, that when 
yon came at last you did not break my dream. The 
dream fell short 1 " 

Tho smile upon her face was veiy sweet, very pnre 
and noble. She would hare gone without another 
word, but Haward caught hor by the sleeve. " Stay 
awhile I " he cried. " I too am a dreaoier, though not 
like you, you maid of Dian, dark saint, cold vestal, 
with your eyes forever on the still, white flame I Au- 
drey, Audrey, Audrey 1 Do you know what a pretty 
name you have, child, or how dark are your eyes, or 
how fine this b^r that a queen might envy ? West" 
over has been dull, child." 

Audrey shook her bead and smiled, and ihoaght 
that he was laughing at her. A vision of Evelyn, 
as Evelyn had looked that morning, passed before 
her. She did not believe that he had foond Wostover 
dull. 

" I am coming to Fair View, dark Andrey," he 
went on. " In its garden there are roses yet blooming 
for thy hair; there are sweet verses calling to be 
read ; there are cool, sequestered walks to be trodden, 
with thy band in mine, — thy hand in mine, little 
maid. Life is but once ; we shall never pass this way 
again. Driuk the cup, wear the roses, live the verses I 



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WITHIN THE FLATHOUSE 217 

Of wbat sing all the sweetest Terses, dark-eyed witoh, 
forest Audrey?" 

" Of love," said Audrey simply. She had freed 
her hand from liis clasp, and her face was troubled. 
She did not anderstand ; never hod she seen him like 
this, with shining eyes and hot, unsteady touch. 

" There is the ball at the Palace to-morrow night," 
he went on. "I mast be there, for a ftur lady and I 
are to dance together." He smiled. " Poor Audrey, 
who hath never been to a ball ; who only dauces with 
the elves, beneath the moon, around a be«^hen tree I 
The next day I will go to Fair View, and you will be 
at the globe house, and we will take up the aummer 
where we left it, that weary month ago." 

** No, so," said Audrey hurriedly, and shook her 
bead, A vague and forqileas tronble bad laid its cold 
touch upon her heart; it was as tliough she saw a 
cloud coming up, but it was no larger than a man's 
hand, and she knew not what it should portend, nor 
ihat it would grow into a storm. He was strange t<v 
day, — that she felt ; bat then all her day si&oa the 
coming of Evelyn had been sad and strange. 

The shaft of sunshine was gone from the stage, and 
all the house was in shadow. Audrey descended the 
two or three steps leading into the pit, aud Haward 
followed her. Side by side they left the playhouse, 
and found themselves in the garden, and ^m in the 
presence of five or tax ladies and gentlemen, seated 
upon the grass beneath a mulberry-tTee, or engaged 
in rifling the grape arbor of its purple fruit 

The garden was a publio one, and this gay little 
party, having tired of the Indian spectacle, had re- 
paired hither to treat of its own affairs. Moreover, 
it had been there, scattered upon the grass in view of 



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US AUSBET 

du plsyhonse door, for the better part of an hoar. 
Concerned with its own wit and laughter, it bod 
canght no sound of low voices issuing from the theft- 
tie ; and for the two who talked within, all outward 
noise bad ranked as coining from the distant, crowded 
fields. 

A yonng girl, her silken apron raised to catch the 
clusters which a gentleman, mounted upon a chair, 
threw down, gave a little scream,, and let fall her pntv 
pie hoard. ** *Gad I " cried the gentleman. One and 
another exclaimed, and a withered beauty seated be- 
neath the muIbcrry-tree laughed shrilly. 

A moment, an effort, a sharp reoall of wandering 
thonghts, and Haward had the sitnation in hand. An 
easy greeting to the gentlemen, debonur compliments 
for the ladies, a question or two as to the entertain- - 
ment they had left, then a negligent bringing forward 
of Audrey. " A little brown ward and ancient play* 
mate of mine, —shot up in the night to be as tall as 
a woman. Make thy curtsy, child, and go tell the 
minister what I have said on the subject he wots of." 

Audrey curtsied and went away, having never raised 
her eyes to note the stare of curiosity, the suppressed 
smile, the glance from eye to eye, wh ich had trod upon 
her introduction to the company. Haward, remaiuing 
with his friends and acquaintances, gathered grapes 
for the blooming girl and the withered beauty, and for 
a little, smiling woman who was known for as arrant 
s aoandalmonger as could be found in Vir^ia. 



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CHAPTER XVIII 
A QUESnON OF COLORS 

EvxLTN, seated at her toflette table, and in the 
hands of Mr. Timothy Greeo, hiurdresser in ordinary 
to WilliatnBburgh, looked with unseeing eyes at her 
own (air reflection lu the glass before her. Cbloe, 
the blaok handmaiden who stood at the door, latob in 
hand, had time to grow tired of waiting before her 
mistress spoke. " Yon may tell Mr. Haward that I 
am at home, Chloo. Bring him here." 

The hairdresser drew a comb through the rippling 
brown tresses' and commenced bis most elaborate ar- 
rangement, working with pursed lips, and head bent 
now to this side, now to that. He had been a hard- 
pressed man since eunrise, and the lighting of the 
Palace candles that night might find him yet employed 
by some belated dame. Krclyn was very pale, and 
shadows were beneath her eyes. Moved by a sudden 
impulse, she took from the table a rouge pot, and has- 
tily and with trembling fingers rubbed bloom into her 
cheeks; then the patch box, — one, two, three Tory 
partisans. "Now I am leas like a ghost," she said, 
" Mr. Green, do I not look well and merry, and as 
though my sleep had been sound and dreamless?" 

In his high, cracked -voice, the hairdresser was sare 
that, pale or glowiog, grave or gay. Mistress Svelyn 
Byrd woold be the toast at the ball that night. The 



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2S0 AtmKET 

lady langhed, toi slie heard Haward's stop upon the 
landing. He entered to the gay, tinkling sound, bent 
over the hand she extended, then, laying aside hat and 
oaoe, took hia seat beside the table. 

" ' Fa!r tranea idbu'i imperial T>ce inanare, 
And baanEj drawa na wicli a, aii^le hair,' " 

he quoted, with a smile. Then : " Will yon take onr 
hearts in blue to-night, Evelyn? You know that X 
love you best in blue." 

She lifted her fan from the table, and waved it 
lightly to and fro. "I go in rose color," she said. 
" 'T is the gown I wore ut Lady Kioh's rout. I dare 
say you do not remember it ? But my Lord of Peter- 
borough said " — She broke ofi, and smiled to her 
fan. 

Her voice was sweet and slightly drawling. The 
langaid turn of the wrist, the easy grace of attitude, 
the beauty of bared neck and tinted face, of lowered 
lids and slow, faint smile, — oh, she was genuine fine 
lady, if she was not quite Evelyn 1 A breeze blowing 
throi^b tlie open windows stirred their gay tiangings 
oF flowered cotton ; the black girl sat in a comer and 
sewed ; the supple fingers of tbe hairdresser went ia 
and out of the heavy hair; roses in a deep blue bowl 
made the room smell like a garden. Ilaward sighed, 
so pleasant was it to sit quietly in this cool chamber, 
after the glare and wavering of the world without. 
" My Lord of Peterborough is magnificent at compli- 
ments," he said kindly, " but 't would be a jeweled 
speech indeed that outdid your deserving, Evelyn, 
Come, now, wear the blue I I will find you white 
roses ; you shall wear them for a breast knot, and in 
the minuet return me one again." 

Evelyn waved bat Ian. *' X dance the minget with 



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A QtTDSnON 07 COLORS SSI 

Mr. liee." Her tone was still sweetly laggaid, her 
maDDer most indifFerent. The thick and glossy tress 
that, drawn forward, was to ripple over white neok 
and bosom was too loosely curled. She regarded it in 
the mirror with an anxious frown, then spoke of it to 
the hairdresser. 

Haward, smiling, watched her with heavy-lidded 
eyes. " Mr. Lee is a fortanate gentleman," he said. 
" I may gain the rose, perhaps, in the country dance ? " 

** That is better," remarked the lady, sarveying 
with satisfaction the new-curled lock. ** The country 
dance ? For that Mr. Lightfoot hath my promise." 

** It seems that I am a laggard," said Haward. 

The knocker sounded below. " I am at home, 
Cfaloe," auDonaced the mistress ; and the slave, laying 
aside her work, slipped from the room. 

Haward played with the trifles upon the dresaing 
table. "Wherein have I offended, Evelyn?" be 
asked, at last 

The lady arched her brows, and the action made 
her for the moment very like her handsome father, 
" Why, there is no oEFense ! " she cried. " An old ao> 
quuntanoe, a family friend I I step a minuet with 
Mr. Lee ; I stand up for a country dance with Mr. 
Idgbtfoot ; 1 wear pink instead of blue, and hare lost 
my liking for white roses, — what is there in all this 
that needs such a question ? Ah, yon have broken 
my silver chain I " 

"I am olumay to-day I" he exclaimed. "A thon- 
sand pardons ! " He let the broken toy slip from his 
fingers to the polished surface of the table, and forgot 
that it was there. '^ Since Colonel Byrd (1 am sorry 
to learn) keeps his room with a (It of the gout, may I 
— an old acquaintance, a family friend — conduct yon 
to the Palace to-night?" 



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2fia AUDRET 

Tlie fan vaved oq. " Tbank you, but I go in onz 
coach, and need no escort-." The lady yawned, veiy 
delicately, behind her slender fingers ; then dropped 
the fan, and spoke with aoimation : " Ah, liere is Mr. 
Ijee 1 In a good hour, air I I saw the bracelet that 
you mended for Miatreas Winston. Canst do as much 
for my poor chain here 7 See 1 it and this silver heart 
have parted company." 

Mr. Lee kissed her hand, and took Enuff with Mr. 
Haward ; then, after an ardent speech crammed with 
references to Vulcan and Venus, chains that were not 
slight, hearts that were of softer substance, sat down 
beside this kind and dazzling vision, and applied his 
clever fingers to the problem in hand. He was a per- 
sonable young gentleman, who had studied at Oxford, 
and who, proudly conscioua that hia tragedy of Arta- 
xerxea, then reposing in the escritoire at home, much 
outmerited Haward's talked-of comedy, felt no dif- 
fidence in the company of the elder fine gentleman. 
He rattled on of this and that, and Evelyn listened 
kindly, with only the curve of her cheek visible to the 
family friend. The silver heart was restored to its 
chain; the lady smiled her thanks; the enamored 
youth hitched his chair some inches nearer the fair 
whom he had obliged, and, with his hand upon his 
heart, entered the realm of high-ficwn speech. The 
gay curtains waved ; the roses were sweet ; black 
Chloe sewed and sewed ; the hairdresser'a hands wove- 
in and ont, as though he were a wizard making passes. 

Haward rose to take his leave. Evelyn yielded him 
her hand ; it wbh cold against his lips. She was non- 
ch.alant and smiling; he was easy, unoffended, admir- 
ably the fine gentleman. For one moment their eyes 
met '* I bad been wiser," thought the man, " I had 



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A QUESTION 07 COLOBS 268 

been wiwr to have myaelf told her of Uiat brown 
witch, that innooent sorceress I Why something held 
my tongue X know not. Now she huth read my idyl, 
bat all darkened, all awry." The woman thought: 
** Cruel and base I Yon knew that my heart was 
jrouTB to break, oast aside, and forget [ " 

Ont of the house the sunlight beat and blinded. 
Booses of red brick, houses of white wood ; the long, 
wide, dusly -Duke of Gloiiceater Street ; gnarled mul- 
berry-trees broad-leafed against a September sky, 
deeply, passionately blue ; glimpses of wood and field, 
•—all seemed remote without distance, still without 
stillness, the semblance of a dream, and yet keen and 
near to oppression. It was a town of stores, of ord> 
naries and public places ; from open door and window 
all aloog Duke of Gloucester Street came laughter, 
round oaths, now and then a scrap of drinking song. 
To Haward, giddy, ill at ease, sickening of a fever, 
the sounds were now as a cry in his ear, now as the 
noise of a distant sea. The minister of James City 
parish and the minister of Ware Creek were walking 
before him, arm in arm, set full sail for dinner after 
a stormy morning. " For Id ! the wicked prospereth 1 " 
said one, and " Fair View parish bound over to the 
devil again I " plained the other. " He 's firm in the 
saddle ; he '11 ride easy to the day he drinks himself 
to death, thanks to this sudden complaisance of Gov* 
emor and Commisaary t " 

" Thanks to " — cried the other sourly, and gave the 
thanks where they were dne. 

Haward heard Ae words, bnt even in the act of 
quifikening his pace to lay a heavy hand upon the 
speaker's shoulder a listlessness came upon him, and 
hie forbore. The memory of the slurring speech went 



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254 AUDKET 

from bint ; liis thoughts were thiBdedowD blown hitbar 
and yoD hj every vagrant air. Coming to Marot's 
ordinaiy he called for wine ; then went up the stair 
to bis room, and sitting down &t the table presently 
fell asleep, with his head upon big arms. 

After a while the sonnds from the public room b& 
low, where men were caronsiug, disturbed his elomber. 
He stirred, and awoke refreshed. It was afternoon, 
bat he felt no hunger, only thirst, which he quenched 
vritii the wine at hand. His windows gave upon the 
Capitol and a green wood beyond ; the wavii^ trees 
enticed, while the room was dull and the noises of the 
houaa distastefnl. He said to himself that he would 
walk abroad, would go out under the beckoning trees 
and be rid of the town. He remembered that the 
Council was to meet that afternoon. Well, it might 
rit without him I He was for the woods, where dwelt 
the cool winds and the shadows deep and silent. 

A few yards, and he was quit of Duke of Gloucester 
Sb%ot ; behind him, porticoed Capitol, gaol, and tiny 
Tinedad debtor's prison. In the gaol yard the pirates 
sat npon a bench in the sunshine, and one smoked a 
long pipe, and one brooded upon bis irons. Gold 
rings were in tbeir ears, and their black hair fell from 
beneath colored handkerchiefs twisted turbanwise 
aronnd their brows. The gaoler watched tliem, stand- 
iug in his doorway, and bis children, at play beneath 
a tree, built with sticks a mimic scafFold, and hanged 
thereon a broken puppet. There was a shady road 
leading through a wood to Queen's Creek and the 
Capitol Landing, and down this road went Haward. 
IHb stop was light ; the dullness, the throbbing pulses, 
Hm oppression of the momiug, had given way to a 
xestlessness and a strange exaltation of spirit. Fancy 



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A QUESTION OF COLOBS 98B 

wu qmokened, imagination heightened; to himself he 
seemed to see the heart of all things. Across his 
mind flitted f r^menta of verse, — now s broken line 
just bintiug heauty, now the pare passion of a lovely 
stanza. His thoughts went to and fro, mobile as the 
waves of the sea ; but firm as the reefs beneath them 
stood his knowledge that presently he was going back 
to Fair View. To-morrow, when the Governor's ball 
was over, when he conid decently get away, be wonld 
leave the town ; he would go to his house in the coun- 
try. Late flowers bloomed in his garden ; the terrace 
was fur above the river ; beneath tho red brich wall, 
on the narrow little oreek shining like a silver high* 
way, lay a winged boat ; and the highway ran past * 
glebe house; and in the glsbe hoose dwelt a dryad 
whose tree had closed against her. Audrey t — a fuf 
name. Audrey, Audrey ! — the birds were singing it ; 
ont of the deep, Arcadian shadows any moment it 
might come, clearly cried by satyr, Fan, or shepherd. 
Bark ! tbere was song — 

It was but a negro on the road behind, singing to 
himself as be went about his master's business. The 
voice was the voice of the raoe, mellow, deep, and 
plaintive ; perhaps the song was of love in a burning 
land. He passed the white man, and the arching 
trees hid him, but the wake of musio was long in fad- 
ing. The road leading through a cool and shady dell, 
Hawanl left it, and took possession of the mossy 
earth beneath a holly-tree. Here, lying on the ground, 
he oould see the road through the intervening foliage ; 
else the place had seemed the heart of an ancient 
wood. 

It was merry lying where were glimpses of bine 
il^, where the leaves quivered and a squirrel chat- 



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2M AUDBET 

tered and a robin Bang a madrigal. Yonth tbe divinet 
half way down the stair of misty yesterdays, turned 
npon his heel and came back to him. He pillowed 
his head opoD his arm, and was content. It was well 
to be BO filled with fancies, so iron of will, so bead- 
DtroDg and gay; to be friends once moro with a 
younger Haward, with the Haward of a mountain pass, 
of mocking comrades and an Irate Excellency. 

From the road came a rumble of oaths. Sailors, 
sweating and straining, were rolling a very great cask 
of tobacco from a neighboring warehouse down to tiie 
landing and some expectant sloop. Haward, lying at 
ease, smiled at their weary task, their grunting and 
swearing ; when they were gone, smiled at the blank- 
ness of the road. All things pleased. There was 
food for mirth in the call of a partridge, in the inquisi- 
tive gaze of a squirrel, in the web of a spider gaoler to 
a gilded fly. There was food for greater mirth in the 
appearance on the road of a solitary figure in a wine- 
colored coat and basbr black peruke. 

Haward sat up. ** Ha, Monacan ! " he cried, with a 
laugh, and threw a stick to attract the man's attention. 

Hugon turned, stood astare, then left the road and 
came down into the delL 

" What fortune, trader ? " smiled Haward. " Did 
your trapa hold in the great forest? Were your peo- 
ple easy to fool, giving twelve deerskins for an old 
matcb-ooat? There is charm in a woodsman life. 
Come, tell me of your joamoys, dangers, and es- 
capes." 

The half-breed looked down npon him with a 
twitching face. " What hinders me from killing you 
now 7 " he demanded, with a backward look at tbe 
road. " None may pass for many minutes." 



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A QUESTION OF COLOBS 2B7 

Haward lay back upon tbe moss, with bis lianda 
locked beneath his head. "What indeed?" he an- 
swered cahnly. " Come, here is a velvet log, 0t seat 
for an emperor — or a sachem ; sit and tell me of 
your life in the woods. For peace pipe let me offer 
my snuffbox." In his mad humor he sat up again, 
drew from his pocket, and presented with the most 
approved flourish, his box of chased gold. '* Monsieur, 
o'est le tabao pour le nez d'un moaarque," he said 
lazily. 

Hugos sat down upon the log, helped himself to 
the mixture with a grand air, and shook the yellow 
dust from his mfBes. The action, meant to be aiiy, 
only achieved fierceness. From some hidden sheath he 
drew a knife, and began to strip from the log a piece 
of bark. " Tell me, you," he said. " Have yon been 
to France ? What manner of land is it ? " 

" A gay country," answered Haward ; " a land 
where (he men are all white, and where at present, 
periwigs are worn much shorter than the one monsieur 
affects." 

" He is a great brave, a French gentleman 7 Al- 
ways he kills the man he hates ? " 

"Not always," s^d the other. "Sometimes the 
man he hates kills him." 

By now one end of the piece of bark in the trader's 
hands was shredded to tinder. He drew from his 
pocket his flint and steel, and struck a spark into the 
frayed mass. It flared up, and he held Srst the tips 
of his fingers, then the palm of his hand, then bis 
bared forearm, in the flame that licked and scorched 
the flesh. His faco was perfectly unmoved, his eyes 
unchanged in their expression of hatred. " Can he 
do this ? " he asked. 



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2B8 AtJDBIT 

" PerhapB not," aaid Hawatd lightly. " It is a very 
foolish thiug to do." 

The flame died out, and the trader tossed aside 
the charred bit o{ barli. " There was old Pierre at 
Moaaoan<Town who taught me to pray to le bon Diett. 
He told me how grand and fine is a French gentle- 
man, and that I was the son of many snch. He 
called the English great pigs, with hrains as dull and 
muddy as the river after many rains. My mother was 
the daughter of a chief. She had strings of pearl for 
her neck, and copper for her arms, and a robe of 
white doeskin, very soft and fine. When she was 
dead and my father was dead, I came from Monaean* 
Town to your £nglish school over yonder. I can read 
and write. I am a white man and a Frenchman, not 
an Indian. When I go to the villages in the woods, 
I am given a lodge apart, and the men and women 
gather to hear a white man speak. . , , You have 
done me wrong with that girl, that Ma'm'selle Audrey 
that I wish for wife. We are enemies : tbat is as it 
should be. You shall not have her, — never, never! 
But yon despise me ; how is that ? Tbat day upon 
the creek, that night in your cursed house, yoa 
laughed " — 

The Haward of the mountain pass, regarding the 
twitching face opposite him and the hand clenched 
apon the handle of a knife, laughed again. At the 
•onnd the trader's face ceased to twitch. Haward felt 
rather than saw the stealthy tightening of the frame, 
the gathering of forces, the closer grasp upon the 
knife, and flung out his arm. A hare scurried past^ 
making for the deeper woods. From the road earn* 
the tramp of a horse and a man's voice, singing. — 
"' To all T<m lad)M Knr on laud * " ^ 



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A QUESTION OF COLOBS 2SB 

whSe bh iDqaisitive dog turned aside from the road, 
and plunged into the dell. 

The rider, hariDg cheeked his horse and quit his 
song in order to call m bis dog, looked Uirough the 
thin veil of foliage and saw the two men beneath the 
holly-tree. " Ha, Jean Hugoo 1 " he cried. " Is that 
yon? Where is that packet of skins you were to de- 
liver at my store ? Come over here, man 1 " 

The trader moistened his dry lips with his tongue, 
and slipped the knife back into its sheath. "Ilad 
we been a mile in the woods," he said, "you would 
have laughed no more." 

Haward watched him go. The argument with the 
rider was a lengthy one. He upon horseback would 
not stand still in the road to finish it, but put his beast 
iuto motion. The trader, exphuDing and gesticulating, 
walked beside his stirrup ; the voicen grew fainter 
and fainter, — were gone. Haward laughed to him- 
self ; then, with his eyes raised to the depth on depth 
of blue, serene beyond the grating of thom-pointed 
leaves, sent his spirit to his red brick bouse and silent, 
sunny garden, with the gate in the ivied wall, and the 
six steps down to the boat and the lapping water. 

The shadows lengthened, and a wind of the evening 
entered the wood. Haward shook o£E the lethargy 
that had kept him lying there for the better part of 
an afternoon, rose to his feet, and left the green dell 
for the road, all shadow now, winding back to tlie toy 
metropolis, to Marot's ordinary, to the ball at the 
Palace that night. 

The ball at the Palace I — he had forgotten it. 
Flare of lights, wail of violins, a painted, silken crowd, 
laughter, whispers, magpie chattering, wine, and the 
wearin989 of the dance, when his soul would long to 



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360 ATJDBET 

Iw with tbe night outside, with the rising wind and 
the shining stars. He half determined not to go. 
What mattered the offense that would be taken ? Did 
he go he would repent, wearied and ennuy^, watching 
Evelyn, all rose^colored, moving with another through 
the minuet ; tied himself perhaps to some pert miss, 
or cornered in a caid^room hy boisterous gamestera, 
or, drinking with his peers, called on to toast the lady 
of his dreams. Better the dull room at Marat's ordi- 
naiy, or better atill to order Mirza, and ride off at 
the planter's pace, through the starshine, to Fair View. 
On the river bank before the store MacLean might 
be lying, dreaming of a mighty wind and a fierce 
death. He would dismount, and sit beside that High- 
land gentleman, Jacobite and strong man, and their 
moods would chime as they had chimed before. Then 
on to the bouse and to the eastern window I Not 
to-night, hut to-morrow night, perhaps, would the 
darkness be pierced by the calm pale star that marked 
another window. Jt was all a mistake, that month at 
Westover, — days lost and wasted, the running of 
golden sands ill to spare from Love's brief glass. . . . 

His mood had changed when, with the gathering 
dusk, he entered his room at Marot's ordinary. He 
would go to the Palace that night ; it would be the 
act of a boy to fling away throngh tbe darkness, shirk- 
ing a duty his position demanded. He would go and 
be merry, watching Evelyn in the gown that Fetec- 
borough had praised. 

When Juba had lighted the caudles, he sat and drank 
and drank again of the red wine upon the table. It 
put m^^ts in his brain, fired and flushed him to the 
spirit's core. An idea uame, at which he laughed. 
He bade it g(t, bat it would nob It stajred, and his 



3,a,l,zt!dbvG00gle 



A QDESnON OF COLORS 961 

fsrered fancy played anrand it as a moth aronod a 
candle. At first lie knew it for a notion, bizarre and 
absurd, which presently he wonld dismiss. All day 
strange thoughts had come and gone, appearing, dis- 
appearing, like will-o'-the-wisps for which a man upon 
a firm road has no care. Never fear that be will fol- 
low them I He sees the marsh, that it has no footing. 
So with this Jack-o'-lantem conception, ^ it would 
vanish as it came. 

It did not so. Instead, when he had drunken more 
vine, and had sat for some time methodioally measur- 
ing, over and over again, with thumb and forefinger, 
the distance from candle to bottle, and from bottle t* 
glass, the idea began to lose its wildfire aspect. In 
no great time it appeared an inspiration as reasonable 
as happy. When this point had been reached, be 
stamped upon the floor to summon his servant from 
the room below. " Lay out the white and gold, Juba," 
be ordered, when the negro appeared, "and come 
make me very fine. I am for the Palace, — I and a 
brown lady that bath bewitched me I The white 
sword knot, sirrah ; and cock my hat with the diamond 
brooch " — 

It was a night that was thronged with stars, and 
visited by a whispering wind. Haward, walking rap- 
idly along the almost deserted Nicholson Street, lifted 
his burning forehead to the cool air and the stat^ 
strewn fields of heaven. Coming to the gate by which 
be bad entered the afternoon before, be raised the 
latch and passed into the garden. By now his fever 
was full upon him, and it was a man scarce to be held 
responsible for his actions that presently knocked at the 
door of the long room where, at the window opening 
upon Palace Street, Audrey sat with Mistress Sta^ 
and watched the people going to the ball. 



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CHAPTER XIX 

THE OOTXBITOB'b BALL 

Foe an honr it had been very qaiet, veiy peaceful, 
in the small white house on Palace Street Darden 
was iiot there ; for the Commissary hail sent for him, 
having certain inquiries to make and a Btem wamiag 
to deliver. Mistress Deborah had been asked to spend 
the night with an acquaintance in the town, so ehe also 
was out and gone. Mistress Sta^ and Audrey kept 
the lower rooms, while overhead Mr. Charles Stagg, a 
man that loved bis art, walked up and down, and, with 
many wavings of a laced handkerchief and much resort 
to a gilt &nu£Fbox, reasoned with Plato of death and 
the aooL The murmur of bis voice came down to the 
two women, aud mode the only sound in the hoose. 
Audrey, sitting by the window, her cbin upon her hand 
and ber dark hair shadowing her face, looked out upon 
the dooryard and the Palace Street beyond. The 
street was lit by torches, and people were going to the 
ball in coaches and chariots, on foot and in painted 
chairs. They went gayly, light of heart, flue of per- 
son, a free and generous folk. Laughter 6oated over 
to the silent wateher, and the torchlight gave her 
glimpses of another land than her own. 

Many bad been Mistress Stagg'e customers sinoQ 
morning, and something had she beard besides sdmi- 
lation of her wares and exclamation at hor prices. 



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THE GOVERNOE'S BALL 263 

Kov, as ehe eat with aome gay sewing beneath her 
Dimbid fingers, she glanced once and again at the 
shadowed face opposite her. If the look was not one 
of curiosity alone, but bad in tt an admixture of new- 
fonnd respect ; if to Mistress Stagg the Audrey of 
yesterday, unnoted, unwhispered of, was a being some- 
what lowlier than the Audrey of to^y, it may be 
remembered for her that she was an actress of the 
early etgh^enth century, and that fate and an old 
mother to support had put her in that station. 

The candles beneath their glass shades burned 
steadily ; the house grew very quiet ; the noises of the 
street lessened and lessened, for now nearly all of the 
people were gone to the ball. Audrey watched the 
round of light cast by the nearest torch. For a long 
time ehe had watched it, thiohing that he might per- 
haps cross the circle, and she might see him in his 
splendor. She was still watching when be knocked at 
the garden door. 

Mistress Sta^, sitting in a dream of her own, 
started violently. " La, now, who may that be ? " she 
exclumed. " Go to the door, child. If 't is a stronger, 
we shelter none such, to be taken up for the harboring 
of runaways !" 

Audrey went to the door and opened it. A mo- 
ment's pause, a low cry, and she moved backward to 
the wall, where she stood with her slender form sharply 
drawn gainst the white plaster, and with the fugitive, 
elusive charm of her face quickened into absolute 
beauty, imperious for attention. Haward, thus ush- 
ered into the room, gave the face its due. His eyes, 
bright and fixed, were for it alone. Mistress Stagg's 
curtsy went unacknowledged save by a slight, mechan- 
ical motion of his hand, and her inquiry as to what he 



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364 AUDREY 

lacked that she could supply received do answer. He 
was a very handsome man, of a bearing both easy and 
commanding, and to-night he was splendidly dreBsed 
in white satin with embroidery of gold. To one of the 
women he seemed the king, who could do no wrong ; 
to the otlier, more learned in the book of the world, he 
was merely a fine gentleman, whose way might as well 
be given him at once, since, spite of denial, he would 
presently take it. 

Haward sat down, resting his clasped hands up<ni 
the table, gazing steadfastly at the face, dark and 
beautiful, set like a flower against the wall. " Come, 
little maid!" he said. "We are going to the ball to- 
gether, yon and I. Hasten, or we shall not be in time 
for the minuet." 

Audrey smiled and shook her head, thinking that it 
was his pleasure to laugh at her a little. Mistress 
Stagg likewise showed her appreciation of the plea- 
santry. When be repeated his command, speaking in 
an authoritative tone and with a glance at his watch, 
there was a moment of dead silence ; then, " Go yonr 
ways, sir, and dance with Mistress Evelyn Byrd I " 
cried the scandalized ex-actress. "The Governor's 
ball is not for the likes of Audrey I " 

"I will be judge of that," he answered. "Come, 
let us be off, child ! Or stay I hast no other dress 
than that?" He looked toward the mistresB of the 
bouse. " I warrant that Mistress Sta^ can trick you 
outl I would have you go fine, Audrey of the hair! 
Audrey of the eyes ! Audrey of the full brown throat ! 
Dull gold, — have yon that, now, mistress, in damask 
or brocade ? Soft laces for her bosom, and a yellow 
bloom in her hair. It should be dogwood, Audrey, 
like the coronal you wore on May Day. Do you re- 



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THE GOVERNOR'S BALL 266 

mfimber, child ? The irhite stars id your hur, and 
tho Maypole all aflutter, and your feet apon the green 
grass" — 

" Oh, I was happy then ! " cried Audrey and 
wrung her hands. Within a moment, however, she 
was calm again, and could look at him with a smile. 
" I am only Audrey," she said. " You know that the 
ball is not for me. Why then do you tell me that I 
must go ? It is your kindness ; I know that it is your 
kindness that speaks. But yet — but yet" — She 
gazed at him imploringly ; then from his steady smile 
caught a sudden encouragement. " Oh ! " she ex- 
claimed with a gesture of quick relief, and with tremu- 
lous laughter in her face and voice, — " oh, you are 
mocking me I You only came to show how a gentle- 
man looks who goes to a G^ovemor's ball 1 " 

For the moment, in her relief at having read his 
riddle, there slipped from her the fear of she knew 
not vhat, — the strangeness and heaviness of heart 
that had been her portion since she came to Williams- 
burgh. Leaving the white wall (gainst which she 
had leaned, she came a little forward, and with gayety 
and grace dropped him a curtsy. " Oh, the white 
satin like the lilies in your garden ! " she laughed. 
" And the red heels to your shoes, and the gold-fringed 
sword knot, and the velvet scabbard I Ah, let me see 
your sword, how bright and keen it is I " 

She was Audrey of the garden, and Haward, smiling, 
drew his rapier and laid it in her hands. She looked 
at the golden hilt, and passed her brown fingers along 
the gleaming blade. " Stainless," she said, and gave 
it back to him. 

Taking it, he took also the hand that had proffered 
it. " I was not laughing, child," he said. " Gro to 



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the ball thou shalt, and with me. What 1 Thou art 
young and fair. Shalt have no pleasure " — 

" What pleasure in that ? " cried Audrey. " I may 
not go, Bir ; nay, I will not go ! " 

She freed her hand, and stood with heaving bosom 
and eyes that very slowly filled with tears. Haward 
saw no reason for her tears. It was true that she was 
young and fair ; true, also, that she had few pleasures. 
Well, he would change all that. The dance, — was it 
not woven by those nymphs of old, those sprites of 
open spaces in the deep woods, from whose immemorial 
company she must have strayed into this present time ? 
Now at the Palace the candles were burning for her, 
for her the music was playing. Her welcome there 
amidst the tinsel people ? Trust him for that : he was 
what he was, and could compass greater things than 
that would be. Go she should, because it pleased him 
to please her, and because it was certainly necessary 
for him to oppose pride with pride, and before the eyes 
of Evelyn demonstrate his indiffereuce to that lady's 
choice of Mr. I^ee for the minuet and Mr. Lightfoot 
for the country dance. This last thought had far to 
travel from some unused, deep-down quagmire of the 
heart, but it came. For the rest, the im^e of Audrey 
decked in silk and lace, turned by her apparel into a 
dark Court lady, a damsel in waiting to Queen Titania, 
caught his fancy in both hands. He wished to see her 
thus, — wished it so strongly that be knew it would 
come to pass. He was a gentleman who had acquired 
the habit of having his own way. There had been 
times when the price of his way had seemed too dear ; 
when he had shrugged his shoulders and ceased to 
desire what he would not buy. To-night he was not 
able to count the cost But be knew — he knew 



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THE GOVEBNOB'S BALL 267 

crneUy well — how to out short this fruitless protest 
of a young girl who thought him all that was wise and 
great and good. 

" So you cannot say * yes ' to my ashing, little maid ? " 
he began, quiet and smiling. " Cannot trust me that 
I have reasons tor the asking? Well, I will not ask 
again, Audrey, since it is so great a thing" — 

" Oh," cried Audrey, " you know that I would die 
for you I " The tears welled over, but she brusbed 
them away with a trembling hand ; then stood with 
raised face, her ^es soft and dewy, a strange smile 
upon her lips. She spoke at last as simply as a 
child : *' Why you want me, that am only Audrey, to 
go with you to the Palace yonder, I cannot tell. But 
I will go, though I am only Audrey, and I have no 
other dress than this " — 

Haward got unsteadily to his feet, and lightly 
touched the dark head that she bowed upon her hands. 
" Why, now you are Audrey again," he said approv- 
ingly. " Why, child, I would do you a pleasure 1 " 
He turned to the player's wife. " She must not go in 
this guise. Have you no finery stowed away ? " 

Now, Mistress Stagg, though much scandalized, and 
very certain that all this would never do, was in her 
way an artist, and could see as in a mirror what bare 
throat and shoulders, rich hair drawn loosely up, a 
touch of rouge, a patch or two, a silken gown, might 
achieve for Audrey. And after all, had not Deborah 
told her that the girl was Mr. Haward's ward, not 
Darden's, and that though Mr. Haward came and 
went as he pleased, and was very kind to Audrey, so 
that Darden was sure of getting whatever the girl 
asked for, yet she was a good girl, and there was no 
harm ? For the talk that day, — people were very 



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idle, and g^vea to thinking the forest afire when there 
was only the least curl of smoke. And in short and 
finally it was none of her business ; but with the aid 
of a certain chest upstairs, she knew what she could 
do ! To the ball might go a beaa^ would make Mis- 
tress Evelyn Byrd look to her laurels I 

" There 's the birthday dress that Madam Carter 
sent us only last week," she began hesitatingly. " It 's 
very beautiful, and a'most as good as new, and 't would 
suit you t» a miracle — But I vow you must not go, 
Audrey! ... To be sure, the damask ia just the tint 
for you, and there are roses would answer for your 
hair. But la, sir, you know 't will never do, never in 
this world." 

Half an hour later, Haward rose from his chair and 
bowed low as to some highborn and puissant dame. 
The fever that was now running high in his veins 
flushed his oheek and made his eyes exceedingly bright. 
Wheu he went up to Audrey, and in graceful mockery 
of her sudden coming into her kingdom, took her hand 
and, bending, kissed it, the picture that tfaey made 
cried out for some painter to preserve it. Her band 
dropped from his clasp, and buried itself in rich folds 
of flowered damask ; the quick rise and fall of her 
bosom stirred soft, yellowing laces, and made to flash 
like diamonds some ornaments of marcasite ; her face 
was haunting in its pun and bewilderment and great 
beauty, and in the lie which her eyes gave to the false 
roses beneath those homes of sadness and longing. 
She bad no word to say ; she was " only Audrey," and 
she could not understand. But she wished to do bis 
bidding, and ao, when be cried out upon her melan- 
oholy, and asked her it 't were indeed a Sunday in 
Kew England instead of a Saturday in Virginia, she 



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THE GOTERIfOR'S BALL 269 

smiled, and strove to put on tLe mind ae well as the 
garb of a gay lady wlio might jnetly go to the Gov- 
ernor's balL 

Half frightened at her own success, Mistress Stagg 
hovered around her, giving this or that final tonob to 
her costume ; but it was Haward himself who put the 
roses in her hair. " A little longer, and we will walk 
ODCe more iu my garden at Fair View," he said. 
" June shall come ^ain for us, and we will tread the 
quiet paths, my sweet, and all the roses shall bloom 
again for us. There, you are crowned I Hail, Queen I " 
- Audrey felt the touch of bis lips upon her forehead, 
aad shivered. All her world was going round; she 
could not steady it, could not see aright, knew not 
what was happening. The strangeness made her 
dizzy. She hardly heard Mistress Stag's last pro- 
test that it would never do, — never in the world; 
hardly knew when she left the house. She was out 
beneath the stars, moving toward a lit Palace whence 
came the sound of violins. Haward's arm was beneath 
ber hand ; his voice was in her ear, but it was as the 
wind's voice, whose speech she did not understand. 
Suddenly they were within the Palace garden, with 
its winding, torchlit walks, and the terraces at the 
side; suddenly again, they had mounted the Palace 
steps, and the doors were open, and she was confronted 
with lights and music and shifting, dazzling figures. 
She stood still, clasped her hands, and gave Haward 
a piteous look. Her face, for all its beauty and its 
painted roses, was strangely the child's face that had 
lain upon his breast, where he knelt amid the com, in 
the valley between the hills, so long ago. He gave 
her mnte appeal no heed. The Governor's guests, 
paaung from room to room, crossed and recrossed the 



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wide hall, and down the stairway, to meet a row of 
gallants impatient at its foot, came fair women, one 
after the other, the flower of the colony, clothed upon 
like the lilies of old. Haward, entering with Audrey, 
saw Mr. Lee at the stiurfoot, and, raising his eyes, 
was aware of Evelyn descending alone and somewhat 
slowly, all in rose color, and with a smile upon her 
lips. 

She was esteemed the most beautiful woman io 
Viiginia, the most graceful and accomplished. Wit 
and charm and fortune were hers, and the little gay 
world of Virginia had mated her with Mr. Marmaduke 
Haward of Fair View. Therefore that portion of it 
that chanced to be in the hall of the Governor's honse 
withdrew for the moment its attention from its own 
affairs, and bestowed it npon those of the lady descend- 
ing the stairs, and of tlie gold-and-white gentleman 
who, with a strange beauty at his side, stood directly 
in her path. It was a very wise little world, and since 
yesterday afternoon had been furly bursting with its 
own knowledge. It knew all about that gypsy who 
had come to town from Fair View parish, — " La, my 
dear, just the servant of a minister I " — and knew to 
a syllable what had passed in the violent quarrel to 
which Mr. Lee owed his good fortune. 

That triumphant gendeman now started forward, 
and, with a low bow, extended his hand to lead to the 
ballroom this rose-colored paragon and cynosure of 
all eyes. Evelyn smiled upon him, and gave him her 
scarf to hold, but would not be hurried ; must first 
speak to her old friend Mr. Haward, and tell him that 
her father's foot could now bear the shoe, aud that be 
might appear before the ball was over. This done, 
she withdrew her gaze from Haward's strangely ani- 



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bv Google 



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THE GOVERNOR'S BALL 271 

mated, vividly haDdfiome countenaiice, and tamed it 
upoB the figure at his side. " Fray present me ! " she 
said quickly. " I do not think I have the honor of 
knowing " — 

Audrey raised her head, that had been bent, and 
looked E^ain, as she had looked yesterday, with all 
het innocent soul and heavy heart, into the eyes of 
the princess. The smile died from Evelyn's lips, and 
a great wave of indignant red surged over face and 
neck and bosom. The color fled, but not the bitter 
anger. So he could bring his fancy there I Could 
clothe her that waa a servant wench in a splendid 
gown, and flaunt her before the world — before the 
world that must know — oh, God I must know how 
she herself loved him 1 He could do this after that 
month at Westover I She drew her breath, and met 
the insult fairly. " I withdraw my petition," she said 
clearly. " Now that I bethink me, my acquaintance 
is already somewhat too great. Mr. Lee, shall we 
not join the company ? I have yet to make my curtsy 
to his Excellency." 

With head erect, and with no attention to spare 
from the happy Mr. Lee, she passed the sometime 
suitor for her hand and the apple of discord which it 
had pleased him to throw into the aasembly. A 
whisper ran around the hall. Audrey heard sup- 
pressed laughter, and heard a speech which she did 
not understand, but which was uttered in an angry 
voice, much like Mistress Deborah's when she chided. 
A sudden terror of herself and of Hawatd's world 
possessed her. She turned where she stood in her 
borrowed plumage, and clung to his hand and arm. 
"Let me go," she begged. "It is all a mistake, — 
all wrong. Let me go, — let me go." 



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272 AXJDEET 

He laaghed at her, shaking his head and looking 
into her beseeching face with shining, far-ofE eyes. 
"Thou dear fool!" he said. "The ball is made for 
thee, and all these folk afe here to do thee honor I " 
Holding her by the hand, he moved with her toward a 
wide doorway, through which could be seen a greater 
throng of beautifully dressed ladies and ganUemen. 
Music came from this room, and she saw that there 
were dancers, and that beyond them, upon a sort of 
dais, and before a great carved chair, stood a fine gen- 
tleman who, she knew, mast be his Excellency the 
Govemot of Virginia. 



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CHAPTER XX 
THE UNINVITED GUEST 

" MiSTEESS Addeet ? " said the Governor gra- 
ciously, as the lady in damask rose from her ourtsy. 
"Mistress Audrey whom? Mr. Haward, you gave 
me not the name of the atock that hath flowered in so 
beauteous a bloom." 

" Why, sir, the bloom is all in all,'' answered Ho- 
ward. " What root it springs from matters not. I 



n good health, — that 
ing fever?" 

said the Govemor 



trust that your Excellency ii 
you feel no touch of our seasonin 

" I asked the lady's name, s 
pointedly. He was standing in the midst of a knot 
of gentlemen, members of the Council and officers of 
the colony. All around the long room, seated in 
chairs arow against the walls, or gathered in laughing 
groups, or moving about with a rustle and gleam of 
silk, were the Virginians his guests. From the gal- 
lery, where were bestowed the musicians out of three 
parishes, floated the pensive strains of a minuet, and 
in the centre of the polished floor, under the eyes of 
the company, several couples moved and postured 
through that stately dance. 

" The lady is my ward," said Haward lightly. *' I 
call her Audrey. Child, tell his Excellency your other 
name." 

If he thought at all, he thought that she could do 



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274 AUDREY 

it. But such an estray, Buch a piece of flotaam, was 
Audrey, that she could not help him out. " They call 
me Darden's Audrey," she explained to the Gov- 
ernor. "If I ever heard my father's name, I have 
forgotten it." 

Her voice, thoi^h low, reached all those who had 
ceased from their own concerns to stare at this strange 
guest, this dark-eyed, shrinking beauty, so radiantly 
attired. The whisper had preceded her from the hall : 
there had been fluttering and comment enough as, 
under the fire of all those eyes, she had passed with 
Haward to where stood the Governor receiving his 
guests. But the whisper had not reached his Excel- 
lency's ears. In London he had been slightly ac- 
quainted with Mr. Marmaduke Haward, and now 
knew him for a member of his Council, and a gentle- 
man of much consequence in that Virginia which he 
had come to rule. Moreover, he had that very morn- 
ing granted a favor to Mr. Haward, and by reason 
thereof was inclined to think amiably of the gentle- 
man. Of the piece of dark loveliness whom the Vir- 
ginian had brought forward to present, who could 
think otherwise ? But his Excellency was a formal 
man, punctilious, and cautious of his state. The bow 
with which he received the strange lady's curtsy had 
been profound i in speaking to her he had made his 
tones honey-sweet, while his compliment quite capped 
the one just paid to Mistress Evelyn Byrd. And now 
it would appear that the lady had no name I Nay, 
from the looks that were being exchanged, and from 
the tittering that bad risen amongst the younger of 
his guests, there must be more amiss than that I His 
Excellency frowned, drew himself up, and turned what 
was meant to be a searching and terrible eye upon the 



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THE UNINVITED GUEST 27S 

Teoreant in white satin. Audrey caught the look, for 
which Haward cared no whit. Oh, she knew that she 
had DO business there, — she that only the other day 
had gone barefoot on Darden's errands, had been kept 
waiting in hall or kitchen of these people's houses 1 
She knew that, for all her silken gown, she had no 
place among them ; but she thought that they were 
not kind to stare and whisper and laugh, shaming her 
before one another and before him. Her heart swelled ; 
to the dreamy misery of the day and evening was 
added a passionate sense of hurt and wrong and injus- 
tice. Her pride awoke, and in a moment taught her 
many things, though among them was no distrust 
of him. Brought to bay, she put out her hand and 
found a gate ; pushed it open, and entered upon her 
heritage of art. 

The change was so sudden that those who had stared 
at her sourly or scornfully, or with malicious amuse- 
ment or some stirrings of pity, drew their breath and 
gave ground a little. Where was the shrinking, fright- 
ened, unbidden guest of a moment before, with down- 
cast eyes and burning cheeks ? Here was a proud and 
easy and radiant lady, with witching eyes and a won- 
derful smile. " I am only Audrey, your Excellency," 
she said, and curtsied as she spoke. " My other name 
lies buried in a valley amongst far-ofE mountains." 
She slightly turned, and addressed herself to a portly, 
velvet-clad gentleman, of a very authoritative air, who, 
arriving late, had just shouldered himself into the 
group about his Excellency. " By token," she smiled, 
'* of a gold moidore that was paid for a loaf of bread." 

The new Governor appealed to his predecessor. 
" What is this, Colonel Spotswood, what is this ? " he 
demanded, somewhat testily, of the open-mouthed gen- 
tleman in velvet. 



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276 AUDREY 

" Odso ! " cried the latter. " 'T is the little maid of 
the sugar-tree I — Marmaduke Haward's brown elf 
grown into the qaeen of all the fairies ! " Crossing 
to Audrey he took her bj the hand. " My dear child," 
he said, with a benevolence that sat well upou him, " I 
always meant to keep an eye upon thee, to see that 
Mr. Haward did by thee all that he swore he would 
do. But at first there were cares of state, and now 
for five years I have lived at Germanna, half way to 
thy mountains, where echoes from the world seldom 
reach me. Permit me, my dear." With a somewhat 
cumbrous gallaotry, the innocent gentleman, who had 
just come to town and knew not the gossip thereof, 
bent and kissed her upoD the cheek. 

Audrey curtsied with a bright face to her old ac- 
quaintance of the valley and the long road thence to 
the settled country. " I have been cared for, sir," 
she said. "You see that I am happy." 

She turned to Haward, and he drew her band vrithin 
his arm. " Ay, child," he said. " We are keeping 
others of the company from their duty to his Excel- 
lency. Besides, the minuet invites. I do not think 
I have heard music so sweet before to-night. Your 
Excellency's most obedient servant I Gentlemen, al- 
low UB to pass." The crowd opened before them, and 
they found themselves in the centre of the room. Two 
couples were walking a minuet ; when they were joined 
by tills dazzling third, the ladies bridled, bit their lips, 
and shot Parthian glances. 

It wafl very fortunate, thought Audrey, that the 
Widow Constance had once, long ^o, taught her to 
dance, and that, when they were sent to gather nuts 
or myrtle berries or fagots in the woods, she and Bar- 
bara were used to taking hands beneath the trees and 



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THE UNINVITED GUEST 277 

moving with the glancing sunheams and the nodding 
saplings and the swaying grapevine trailers. She 
that had danced to the wind in the pine tops could 
move with ease to the musio of this night. And since 
it was so that with a sore and frightened and breaking 
heart one could yet, in some strange way, hecome qaite 
another person, — any person that one chose to be, — 
these cruel folk should not laugh at her again I They 
had not laughed since, before the Governor yonder, 
she had suddenly made believe that she was a care- 
free, great lady. Well, she would , make believe to 
them still. 

Her eyes were aa brilliant as Haward's that shone 
with fever ; a smile stayed upon her lips ; she moved 
with dignity through the stately dance, scarce erring 
once, graceful and fine in all that she did. Haward, 
enamored, bis wits afire, went meohanically through 
the oft-trod measure, and swore to himself that he 
held in his band the pearl of price, the nonpareil of 
earth. In this dance and under cover of the music 
they could speak to each other unheard of those about 
them. 

"* Queen of all the fairies,' did he call yon?" he 
asked. " That was wejl said. When we are at Fair 
View ^ain, thou must show me where thou wonnest 
with thy court, in what moonlit haunt, by what cool 
streams " — 

" I would I were this night at Fair View glebe 
bouse," said Audrey. " I would I were at home in 
the mountains." 

Her voice, sunken with pain and longing, was for 
him alone. To the other dancers, to the crowded 
room at large, she seemed a brazen girl, with beauty 
to make a goddess, wit to mask aa a great lady, ef- 



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fronter; to match tliat of the gentlemaD vbo had 
brought her here. The age was free, and in that Lon- 
don which was dear to the hearts of the Virginians 
ladies of damaged reputation were not so unusual a 
feature of fashionable entertunments as to receive 
any especial notice. But Williamsburgh was uot 
London, and the dancer yonder, who held her rose- 
crowned head so high, was no lady of fashion. They 
knew her now for that dweller at Fair View gates of 
whom, during the summer just past, there had been 
whispering enough. Evidently, it was not for naught 
that Mr. Marmadube Haward had refused invitations, 
given no entertainments, shut himself up at Fair View, 
slighting old friends and evincing no desire to make 
new ones. Why, the girl was a servant, — nothing 
more nor less ; she belonged to Gideon Darden, the 
drunken minister ; she was to have married Jean Hn- 
gon, the half-breed trader. Look how the Governor, 
enlightened at last, glowered at her ; and how red 
was Colonel Spotswood's face ; and how Mistress 
Evelyn Byrd, sitting in the midst of a little court of 
her own, made witty talk, smiled upon her circle of 
adorers, and never glanced toward the centre of the 
room, and the dancers there ! 

*' You are so sweet and gay to-night," said Haward 
to Audrey. " Take your pleasure, child, for it is a 
sad world, and the blight will fall. I love to see you 
happy," 

" Happy ! " she answered. " I am not happy I " 

" You are above them all in beauty," he went oDu 
*' There is not one here that 's fit to tie your shoe." 

" Oh me I " cried Audrey. " There is the lady 
that yon love, and that loves you. Why did she look 
at me so, in the hall yonder 7 And yesterday, when 



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THE UNINVITED GUEST 279 

slie came to MiBtresa Stagg's, I might not touch her 
or Bpeak to her I You told me that Bhe was hind and 
good and pitifuL I dreamed that she might let me 
serve her when she came to Fair View." 

" She will never come to Fair View," he said, " Dor 
shall I go ^^in to Westover. I am for my own bouse 
DOW, yoa brown enchantress, and my own garden, and 
the boat upon the river. Do you remember bow sweet 
were our days in June? We will live them over 
again, and there shall come for us, besides, a fuller 
summer " — 

" It is winter now," said Audrey, with a sobbing 
breath, " and cold and dark ! I do not know myself, 
and you are strange. I beg you to let me go sway. 
I wish to wash o£E this paint, to put on my own gown. 
I am no lady ; yon do wrong to keep me here. See, 
all the company are frowning at me 1 The minister 
will hear what I have done and be angry, and Mistress 
Deborah will beat me. I care not for that, but you — 
Oh, you have gone far away, — as far as Fair View, 
as far as the mountains ! I am speaking to a 
stranger " — 

In the dance their raised hands met i^in. " You 
see me, you speak to me at last," he said ardently. 
*' That other, that cold brother of the snows, that pala- 
din and dream knight that you yourself made and 
dubbed him me, — he has gone, Audrey ; nay, he 
never was ! But I myself, I am not abhorrent to 
you ? " 

"Oh," she answered, "it is all dark! I cannot 
see — I cannot understand " — 

The time allotted to minuets having elapsed, the 
musicians after a short pause began to play an an- 
cient, lively lur, and a number of ladies and gentle- 



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280 AUDREY 

men, yoting, gayly dressed, and light of heart as of 
heels, engaged in a country dance. When they were 
joined by Mr. Marmaduke Haward and his shameless 
companion, there arose a great rustling and whisper- 
ing. A young girl in green taffeta was dancing alone, 
wreathing in and out between the silken, gleaming 
couples, coquetting with the men by means of fan and 
eyes, but taking hands and moving a step or two with 
each sister of the dance. When she approached Au- 
drey, the latter smiled and extended her hand, because 
that was the way the lady nearest her had done. But 
the girl iu green stared coldly, put her hand behind 
her, and, wili the very faintest s^ute to Mr. Marma- 
duke Haward, danced on her way. For one moment 
the smile died on Audrey's lips ; then it came reso- 
lutely back, and she held her head high. 

The men, forming iu two rows, drew their rapiers 
with a flourish, and, crossing them overhead, made 
an arch of steel nnder which the women must pass. 
Haward's blade touched that of an old acquaintance. 
" I have been leaning upon the back of a lady's 
chair," said the latter gru£By, under cover of the 
music and the clashing steel, — "a lady dressed in 
rose color, who 's as generous (to all save one poor 
devil) as she is fair. I promised ber I would take her 
message ; the Lord knows I would go to the bottom 
of the sea to give her pleasure I She says that you 
are not yourself ; begs that you will go quietly 
away " — 

An exclamation from the man next him, and a loud 
murmur mixed with some laughter from those in the 
crowded room who were watching the dancers, caused 
the gentleman to break off in the middle of his mes- 
sage. He glanced over his shoulder; then, with a 



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THE DNnmTED GUEST 281 

shmg, tamed to his TiB-a-vig in white satin. " Xow 
you see that 't will not answer, — not in Virginia. 
The women — bless them ! — have a way of cutting 
Gordian knots." 

A score of ladies, one treading in the footsteps of 
another, should have passed beneath the flashing 
swords. But there had thrust itself into their com- 
pany a plague spot, and the girl in green taffeta and 
a matron in silver brocade, between whom stood the 
hateful presence, indignantly stepped ottt of line and 
declined to dance. The fear of infection spreading 
like wildfire, the ranks refused to close, and the com- 
pany was thrown into confusion. Suddenly the girl 
in green, by nature a leader of her kind, walked 
away, with a toss of her head, from the huddle of 
those who were uncertain what to do, and joined her 
friends among the spectators, who received her with 
aeelaim. The sound and her example were warranty 
enough for the cohort she had quitted. A moment, 
and it was in virtuous retreat, and the dance was bro- 
ken up. 

The gentlemen, who saw themselves summarily de- 
serted, abruptly lowered their swords. One laughed ; 
another, flown with wine, gave utterance to some 
coarse pleasantry ; a third called to the musicians to 
stop the music. Darden's Audrey stood alone, brave 
in her beautiful borrowed dress and the color that 
could not leave her cheeks. But her lips had whitened, 
the smile was gone, and ber eyes were like those of 
a hanted deer. She looked mutely about her: how 
could she understand, who trusted so completely, who 
lived in a labyrinth without a clue, who had built her 
dream world so securely that she had left no way of 
egress for herself ? These were omel people 1 She 



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282 AUDREY 

was mad to get away, to tear oS this straoge drese, to 
fling herself down in the darkness, ia the woods, hiding 
her face against the earth I But though she was on]y 
Audrey and so poor a thing, she had for her portioh 
a dignity and fineness of nature that was a stay to her 
gteps. Barhara, though not so poor and humble a 
maid, might have hurst into tears, and run crying 
from the room and the house ; but to do that Audrey 
would have been ashamed. 

"It was you, Mr. Corbin, that hiughed, I think?" 
said Haward. " To-morrow I shall send to know the 
reason of your mirth. Mr. Ererard, you will answer 
to me for that pretty oath. Mr, Travis, there rests 
the lie that yon uttered just now : stoop and take it 
again." He flung his glove at Mr. Travis's feet. 

A great hubbub and exclamation arose. Mr. Travis 
lifted the glove with the point of his rapier, and in a 
loud voice repeated the assertion which had given um- 
brage to Mr. Uaward of Fair View. That gentleman 
sprang unsteadily forward, and the blades of the two 
crossed in dead earnest. A moment, and the men were 
forced apart ; but by this time the whole room was in 
commotion. The musicians craned their necks over 
the gallery rail, a woman screamed, and half a dozen 
gentlemen of years and authority started from the 
crowd of witnesses to the affair and made toward the 
centre of the room, with an eye to preventing further 
trouble. Where much wine had been drunken and 
twenty rapiers were out, matters might go from bad 
to worse. 

Another was before them. A lady in rose color had 
risen from her chair and glided across the polished 
floor to the spot where trouble was brewing. " Gen- 
tlemen, for shame 1 " she cried. Her voice was beU- 



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THE UNINVITED GUEST 283 

like ID its clear sweetnesa, final in ita grave rebuke 
and its recall to sense and decency. Ske was MiBtress 
Evelyn Byrd, who held sovereign^ in Vii^nia, and 
at the sound of her voice, the command of her raised 
hand, the clamor suddenly ceased, and the angry group, 
parting, fell hack as from the presence of its veritaUe 
queen. 

Evelyn went up to Audrey and took her by the 
hand. "I am not tired of dancing, as were those 
ladies who have left ns," she said, with a smile, and 
in a sweet and friendly voice. " See, the gentlemen 
are waiting I Let us finish out this measure, you and 
me." 

At her gesture of command the lines that had so 
summarily broken re-formed. Back into the old ur 
swung the musicians; np went the swords, crossing 
overhead with a ringing soond, and beneath the long 
arch of protecting steel moved to the music the two 
women, the dark beauty and the fair, the princess and 
the herdgirl. Evelyn led, and Audrey, following, knew 
that now indeed she was walking in a dream. 

A very few moments, and the measure was finished. 
A smile, a curtsy, a wave of Evelyn's hand, and the 
dancers, disbanding, left the floor. Mr. Corbin, Mr. 
Everard, and Mr. Travis, each had a word to say to 
Mr. Hawuxl of Fur View, as they passed that gentle- 
man. 

Haward heard, and answered to the point ; but when 
presently Eveljm said, " Let us go into the garden," 
and he found himself moving with her and with Au- 
drey through the buzzing, staring crowd toward the 
door of the Governor's house, he thought that it was 
into Fair View garden they were abont to descend. 
And when they came out upon the broad, tomhiit 



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284 AUDRET 

walk, and he eaw gay parties of ladies and gentlemen 
straying here and there heneath the trees, be thought 
it strange that he had foi^tten that he had guests 
thia night. As for the sound of the river below his 
terrace, he had never heard so loud a murmur. It 
grew and filled the night, making thin and far aws^ 
the voices of his guests. 

There was a coach at the gates, and Mr. Giymes, 
who awhile ago had told him that he had a message to 
dehver, was at the coach door. Evelyn had her hand 
upon his arm, and her voice was speaking to him from 
as far away as across the river. " I am leaving the 
ball," it said, " and I will take the girl in my coach to 
the place where she is staying. Promise me that you 
will not go back to the house yonder ; promise me that 
you will go away with Mr. Girymes, who is also weary 
of the ball " — 

" Oh," said Mr. Grymes lightly, " Mr. Haward 
agrees with me that Marot'a best room, cool and quiet, 
a bottle of Burgundy, and a hand at piquet are more 
alluring than the heat and babel we have left. We 
are going at once. Mistress Evelyn. Haward, I pro- 
pose that on our way to Marot's we knock up Dr. Coo- 
tesse, and make him free of our company." 

As he spoke, he handed into the coach the lady in 
flowered damask, who had held up her head, but said 
no word, and the lady in rose-colored brocade, who, 
through the length of the ballroom and the hall and 
the broad walk where people passed and repassed, bad 
kept her hand in Audrey's, and had talked, easily and 
with smiles, to the two attending gentlemen. He shut 
to the coach door, and drew back, with a low bow, 
when Haward's deeply flushed, handsome face ap- 
peared for a moment at the lowered glass. 



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THE UNDTVITED GUEST 286 

" Art away to Westover, Evelyn ? " he asked. 
''Then 't is 'Grood-by, sweetheart 1' for I shall not 
go to Westover again. But you have a fair road to 
travel, — there are violets by the wayside ; for it is 
May Day, yon know, and the woods are white with 
dogwood and pnrple with the Judas-tree. The violets 
are for you ; but the great white blossoms, and the 
boughs of rosy mist, and all the trees that wave in the 
wind are for Audrey." His eyes passed the woman 
whom he would have wed, and rested upon her com- 
panion in the coach. " Thou fair dryad I " he said, 
"Two days hence we will keep tryst beneath the 
beech-tree in the woods beyond the glebe house." 

The man beside bim put a hand upon his shoulder 
and plucked him back, nor would look at Evelyn's 
drawn and whitened face, but called to the coachman 
to go on. The black horses put themselves into mo- 
tion, the equipage made a wide turn, and the lights of 
the Palace were left behind. 

Evelyn lodged in a house upon the outskirts of the 
town, but from the Palace to Mistress Stagg's was 
hardly more than a stone's throw. Not until the coach 
was drawing near the small white house did either of 
the women speak. Then Audrey broke into an inar- 
ticulate murmur, and stooping would have pressed her 
cheek against the hand that had clasped hers only a 
little while before. But Evelyn snatched her hand 
away, and with a gesture of passionate repulsion shrank 
into her cornet of the coach. " Oh, how dare you 
touch me ! " she cried. " How dare you look at me, 
you serpent that have stung mc so I " Able to endure 
no longer, she suddenly gave way to angry laughter. 
" Do you think I did it for you, — put such humilia- 
tion upon myself for you ? Why, yon wanton, I care 



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266 AnDRET 

not if you stand in white at every church door in Vir- 
ginia I It was for him, for Mr. Marmaduke Haward 
of Fair View, for whose name and fune, if he cares 
not for them himself, his friends have yet some care I " 
The coach stopped,' and the footman opened the door. 
" Descend, if you please," went on Evelyn clearly and 
cddly. "Yon have had your triumph. I say not 
there is no excuse for him, — you are very heantiful. 
Good-night." 

Audrey stood between the lilac bushes and watched 
the coach torn from Palace into Duke of Gloncester 
Street; then went and knocked at the green door. 
It was opened by Mistress Stagg in person, who drew 
her into the parlor, where the good-natured woman 
had been sitting all alone, and in increasing alarm as 
to what might be the outcome of this whim of Mr. 
Marmaduke Haward's. Now she was full of inquiries, 
ready to admire and to nod approval, or to shake her 
head and cry, " I told yon so t " according to the turn 
of the girl's recital. 

But Audrey bad little to say, little to tell. Yes, 
oh yes, it had been a very grand sight. . . . Yes, Mr. 
Haward was kind ; be bad always been kind to her. 
. . ■ She had come home with Mistress Evelyn Byrd 
in her coach. . . , Might she go now to her room? 
She would fold the dress very carefully. 

Mistress Stagg let her go, for indeed there was no 
purpose to be served in keeping her, seeing that the 
girl was clearly dazed, spoke without knowing what 
she said, and stood astare like one of Mrs. Salmon's 
beautiful wax ladies. She would hear all about it in 
the morning, when the child had slept off her excite- 
ment. They at the Palace could n't have taken her 
presence much amiss, or she would never in the world 
have come home in the Westover coach. 



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CHAPTER XXI 

AUDRET AWAKES 

Thebe had lately come to Yii^mia, and to the con- 
vention of its clergy at WilliamBburgh, one Mr. Eliot, 
a minister after the heart of a large number of sober 
and godly men whose reputation as a body suffered at 
the hands of Mr. Darden, of Fair View parieh, Mr. 
Bailey, of Newport, Mr, Worden, of Lawn's Creelr, 
and a few kindred spirits. Certainly Mr. Eliot was 
not like these ; so erect, indeed, did he hold himself 
in the atrait and narrow path that Hb most admiring 
brethren, being, as became good Virginians, somewhat 
ea^-going in their saintliness, were inclined to think 
that he leaned too far the other way. It was com- 
mendable to hate sin and reprove the sinner; but 
when it came to raining condemnation upon horse- 
racing, dancing, Cato at the playhouse, and like inno- 
cent diversions, Mr. Eliot was surely somewhat out of 
bounds. The most part accounted for his turn of 
mind by the fact that ere he came to Virginia he had 
been a sojourner in New England. 

He was mighty in the pulpit, was Mr. Eliot ; no 
droning reader of last year's sermons, but a thunderer 
forth of speech that was now acrid, now fiery, but that 
always oame from an impassioned nature, vehement 
for the damnation of those whom God so strangely 
spared. When, as had perforce happened during the 



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past week, lie must sit with his biethren in the con- 
gregstioD and listen to lukewarm — nay, to dead and 
cold adjurations and expoundings, his very soul itched 
to mount the pulpit sturs, thrust down the Laodicean 
that ohanced to oocuf^ it, and himself awaken as with 
the sound of a trumpet this people who slept upon the 
Tei^e of a precipice, between hell that gaped below 
and God who sat on high, serenely regardful of his 
creatures' plight. Though so short a time in Vir- 
ginia, he was already become a man of note, the pro- 
phet not without honor, whom it was the fashion to 
admire, if not to follow. It was therefore natural 
enough that the Commissary, himself a man of plain 
speech from the pulpit, should appoint him to preach 
in Bruton church this Sunday morning, before his 
Excellency the Governor, the worshipfol the Council, 
the dei^ in convention, and as much of Williams- 
burgh, gende and simple, as could crowd into the 
church. Mr. Eliot took the compliment as an answer 
to prayer, and chose for his text Daniel fifth and 
twenty-seventh. 

Iiodging as he did on Palace Street, the early hours 
of the past night, which he would have given to prayer 
and meditation, had been profaned by strains of music 
from the Governor's house, by laughter and swearing 
and much going to and fro in the street beneath bis 
window. These disturbances filling him with right- 
eous wrath, he came down to his breakfast next morn- 
ing prepared to give his hostess, who kept him com- 
pany at table, line and verse which should demonstrate 
that Jehovah shared his anger. 

" Ay, sir ! " she cried. " And if that were all, sir " 
— and straightway she embarked upon a colored nar- 
ration of the occurrence at the Governor's balL This 



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AUDREY AWAKES , 289 

was followed by a wonderfully oiroamataiitial aoconnt 
of Mr. Marmaduke Haward's sing of omisBion against 
old and new acquaintances who would have entertained 
him at their houses, and been entertained in turn at 
Fair View, and by as detiuled a description of Uie 
toils that had been laid for him by that audacious . 
piece who had forced herself upon the company last 
night. 

Mr. Eliot listened aghast, and mentally amended 
his sermon. If he knew Yii^nia, even so fl^;rant a 
case as this might never come before a vestry. Should 
this woman go unreproved ? When in due time he 
was in the church, and the congregation was gather- 
ing, he beckoned to him one of the sidesmen, asked a 
question, and when it was answered, looked fixedly at 
a dark girl sitting far away in a pew beneath the 
gallery. 

It was a fine, sunny morning, with a tang of autumn 
in the air, and the concourse within the church was 
very great. The clergy showed like a wedge of black 
driven into the bright colors with which nave and 
b-ansept overflowed. His Excellency the Governor 
sat in state, with the Council on either hand. One 
member of that body was not present. Well-nigh all 
Williamshurgh knew by now that Mr. Marmaduke 
Haward lay at Marot's ordinary, ill of a raging fever. 
Hooped petticoat and fragrant bodice found reason 
for whispering to laced coat and periwig ; significant 
glances traveled from every quarter of the building 
toward the tall pew where, collected but somewhat 
palely smiling, sat Mistress Evelyn Byrd beside her 
father. All this was before the sermon. When the 
minister of the day mounted the pulpit, and, gannt 
against the great black sounding-board, gave out his 



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text in a solemn and ringing voioe, sucb was the 
genuine power of the man that every face was tamed 
toward him, and throughout the building there fell a 
sudden hnsh. 

Audrey looked with the rest, hut she could not 
have said that she listened, — not at first. She was 
there because she always went to church on Sunday. 
It had not occurred to her to ask that she might stay 
at home. She had come from her room that morning 
with the same still face, the same strained and startled 
look about the eyes, that she had carried to it the 
night before. Black Peggy, who found her bed un- 
slept in, thought that she must hare sat the night 
through beside the window. Mistress Stf^g, meeting 
her at the stairfoot with the tidings (just gathered 
from the lips of a passer-by) of Mr. Haward's illness, 
thought that the girl took the news very quietly. She 
made no exclamation, said nothing good or bad ; only 
drew her hand across her brow and eyes, as though 
she strove to thrust away a veil or mist that troubled 
her. This gesture she repeated now and agun during 
the hour before church time. Mistress Stagg heard 
no more of the ball this morning than she had heard 
the night before. Something ailed the girl. She was 
not sullen, but she could not or would not talk. Per- 
haps, despite the fact of the Westover coach, she had 
not been kindly used at the Palace. The ez-actress 
pursed her lips, and confided to her Mirabell that 
times were not what they once were. Had she not, 
at Bath, been given a ticket to the Saturday ball by 
my Lord Squander himself ? Ay, and she had footed 
it, too, in the country dance, with the best of them, 
with captains and French counts and gentlemen and 
ladies of tide, — ay, and had gone down the middle 



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AUDREY AWAKES 291 

with the very pattern of Sir Harry Wildiur I To he 
BUie, no one had ever breathed a word ^EunBt her 
character; bat, for her part, she believed no great 
harm of Audrey, either. Look at the girl's eyes, now : 
they were like a child's or a saint's. 

Mirabell nodded and looked wise, hut said nothing. 

When the church hells rang Audrey was ready, 
and she walked to church with Mistress Stagg much 
as, the night before, she had walked between the lilacs 
to the green door when the Westover coach had passed 
from her sight. Now she sat in the church much as 
she had sat at the window the night throagh. She did 
not know that people were staring at her ; nor bad 
she canght the venomous glance of Mistress Deborah, 
already in the pew, and aware of more than had come 
to her friend's ears. 

Audrey was not listening, was scarcely thinking. 
Her hands were crossed in her lap, and now and then 
she raised one and made the motion of pushing aside 
from her eyes something heavy that clung and blinded. 
What part of her spirit that was not wholly darkened 
and folded within itself was back in the mountains of 
her childhood, with those of her own blood whom she 
had loved and lost. What use to try to understand 
to^ay, — to-day with its falhng skies, its bewildered 
pondering over the words that were said to her last 
night ? And the morrow, — she must leave that. 
Perhaps when it should dawn he would come to her, 
and call her " little maid," and laugh at her dreadful 
dream. But now, while it was to^y, she could not 
think of him without an ^ony of pain and bewilder- 
ment. He was ill, too, and suffering. Oh, she must 
leave the thought of him alone I Back then to the 
long yesterdays she traveled, and played quietly. 



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292 AUDREY 

dreamily, with Bobia on the green grass beside the 
shining stream, or sat on the doorstep, her head on 
Molly's Lap, and watched the evening star behind the 
£odleBS Mountains. 

It was very quiet in the church save for that one 
great voice speaking. Little by little the voice im- 
pressed itself upon her conscionsness. The eyes of 
her mind were upon long ranges of mountains distinct 
against the splendor of a sunset sky. Last seen in 
childhood, viewed now through the illusion of the 
years, the mountains were vastly higher than nature 
had planned them ; the streamers of light shot to the 
zenith | the black forests were still ; everywhere a 
fixed glory, a gigantio silence, a holding of the breath 
for things to happen. 

By degrees the voice in her ears fitted in with the 
landscape, became, so solemn and ringiug it was, like 
the voice of the archangel of that sunset land. Au- 
drey listened at last; and suddenly the mountains 
were gone, and the light from the sky, and her people 
were dead and dust away in that hidden valley, and 
she was sitting in the church at Williamsbnrgh, alone, 
without a friend. 

What was the preacher saying? What ball of the 
night before was he describing with bitter power, the 
while he gave warning of handwriting upon the wall 
such as had menaced Belshazzar's feast of old ? Of 
what shameless girl was he telling, — what creature 
dressed in silks that should have gone in rags, brought 
to that ball by her paramour — 

The gaunt figure iu the pulpit trembled like a leaf 
with the passion of the preacher's convictions and the 
energy of his utterance. On had gone the stream of 
rhetoric, the denunciations, the satire, the tremendouB 



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AUDREY AWAKES 293 

assertions of God's mind and pnrposee. The lash 
that was wielded was far-reaching ; all the vices of 
the ago — irreligion, blaephemy, dnmkenneas, extrava- 
gaDcC) vainglory, loose living — fell under its sting. 
The condemnation was general, and each man looked 
to see his neighbor wince. The occurrence at the ball 
last night, — he was on that for final theme, was he ? 
There was a slight movement throughout the congr^ 
gation. Some glanced to where would have sat Mr. 
Marmadnke Etaward, had not the gentleman been at 
present in his bed, raving now of a great run of luck 
at the Cocoa Tree ; now of an Indian who, with hia 
knee upon his breast, was throttling him to death. 
Others looked over their shoulders to see if that gypsy 
yet sat beneath the gallery. Colonel Byrd took out 
his snuffbox and studied the picture on the lid, while 
his daughter sat like a carven lady, with a slight smile 
upon her lips. 

On went the word picture that showed how vice 
could flaunt it in so fallen an age. The preacher 
spared not plain words, squarely turned himself toward 
the gallery, pointed out with voice and hand the ob- 
ject of his censure and of God's wrath. Had the law 
pilloried the girl before them all, it had been but lit- 
tle worse for her. She sat like a statue, staring wiUi 
wide eyes at the window above the altar. This, l^en, 
was what the words in the coach last night had meant 
— this was what the princess thought — this was what 
his world thought — 

There arose a commotion in the ranks of the clei^ 
of Virginia. The Beverend Gideon Darden, quitting 
with an oath the company of his brethren, came down 
the ^sle, and, pushing past his wife, took his stand in 
the pew beside the orphan who had lived beneath hifl 



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294 ADDEEY 

roof, whom during many years he had cursed upon 
occasion and sometimes struofc, and whom he had lat- 
terly made his tool. " If erer mind bim, Audrey, my 
girl," he said, and put an unsteady hand upon her 
shoulder. " You 're a good child ; they cannot harm 
ye." 

He turned his great shambling body and heavy face 
toward the preacher, stemmed in the full tide of his 
eloquence by this unseemly interruption. " Ye beg- 
garly Scot I " he exclaimed thickly. " Ye evil-think- 
ing saint from Salem way, that know the very lining 
of the Lord's mind, and yet, walking through his 
earth, see but a poisonous weed in his every harmless 
flower I Shame on you to beat down the flower that 
never did you harm I The girl 's as innocent a thing 
as lives I Ay, I 've had my dram, — the more sbame 
to you that are justly rebuked out of the mouth of a 
drunken man I I have done, Mr. Commissary," ad- 
dressing himself to that dignitary, who had advanced 
to the altar rail with his arm raised in a command for 
ffllence. " I Ve no child of my own, thank God I but 
the maid has grown up in my house, and I '11 not sit 
to hear her belied. I 've heard of last night : 't was 
the mad whim of a sick man. The ^rl 's as guiltless 
of wrong as any lady here. I, Gideon Darden, vouch 
for it I " 

He sat heavily down beside Audrey, who never 
stirred from her still regard of that high window. 
There was a moment of portentous silence ; then, 
" Let us pray," said the minister from the pulpit. 

Audrey knelt with the rest, but she did not pray. 
And when it was all over, and the benedictioD had 
been given, and she found herself without the church, 
she looked at the green trees against the clear autom- 



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AUDREY AWAKES 296 

nal skies and at the graves in the chnrohyard as though 
it were a new world into which she had stepped. She 
conld not have said that she found it fair. Her place 
had been so near the door that well-nigh all the con* 
gregatioo was behind her, streaming out of the church, 
eager to reach the open air, where it might discuss 
the sermon, the f atile and scandalous inteiruptioD by 
the notorious Mr. Darden, and what Mr. Marmaduke 
Haward might have siud or done had he been present. 

Only Mistress Stagg kept beside her ; for Mistress 
Deborah hung back, unwilling to be seen in her com- 
pany, and Darden, from that momentary awakening 
of his better nature, had sunk to himself again, and 
thought not how else he might aid this woimded mem- 
ber of his household. But Mary Sta^ was a kindly 
sonl, whose heart had led her comfortably through 
life with very little appeal to her head. The two or 
three young women — Oldfields and Porters of the 
Virginian stage — who were under indentures to her 
husband and herself found her as much their 6-iend 
as mistress. Their triumphs in the petty playhouse 
of this town of a thousand souls were hers, and what 
woes they had came quickly to her ears. Now she 
would have slipped her band into Audrey's and 
have giyen garrulons comfort, as the two passed alone 
throi^h the churchyard gate and took their way up 
Palace Street toward the small white house. But 
Andrey gave not her hand, did not answer, made no 
moan, neither justified herself nor blamed another. 
She did not speak at all, but after the first glance 
about her moved like a sleepwalker. 

When the house was reached she west np to the 
bedroom. Mistress Deborah, entering stormily ten 
minutM later, found herself face to faee with a strange 



3,a,i,;t!dbjGoogIe 



Audrey, vho, standing in the middle of the floor, 
raised her hand for silence in a gesture so command- 
ing tliat the virago stayed her tirade, and stood open- 
mouthed. 

" I wish to speak," stud the new Audrey. " I was 
waiting for yon. There 's a question I wish to ask, 
and I '11 ask it of yon who were never hind to me." 

"Never kind to herl " cried the miuister's wife to 
the fonr walls. "And she's heen taught, and f&m- 
pered, and treated more like a daughter than the 
beg^r wench she is ! And this is my return, — to sit 
by her in church to-day, and have all Virginia think 
her belonging to me " — 

" I belong to no one," said Audrey. " Even God 
does not want me. Be ijuiet until I have done." She 
made again the gesture of pushing aside from face and 
eyes the mist that clung and blinded. " I know nov 
what they say," she went on. " The preacher told me 
awhile ago. Last night a lady spoke to me : now I 
know what was her meaning. Because Mr. Haward, 
who saved my life, who brought me from the moun- 
tains, who left me, when he sailed away, where he 
thought I would be happy, was kind to me when 
he came again after so many years ; because he has 
often been to the glebe house, and I to Fair Yiew ; 
because last night he would have me go with him to 
the Governor's ball, they think — they say out loud 
for all the people to hear — that I — that I am like 
Joan, who was whipped lasf month at the Court House. 
But it is not of the lies they tell that I wbh to 
speak." 

Her hand went again to her forehead, then dropped 
at her side. A look of fear and of piteous appeal 
came into her face. " The witoh said that I dreamed, 



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AUDEET AWAKES 297 

and that it was not well for dreamers to awaken." 
Suddenly the quiet of her voice and bearing was 
broken. With a cry, ebe bunied across the room, 
and, kneeling, caught at the other's gown. " Ah t 
that is no dream, is it? No dream that he is my 
friend, only my friend who has always been sorry for 
me, has always helped me ! He is the noblest gentle* 
man, the truest, the best — he loves the lady at West- 
over — they are to be married — he never knew what 
people were saying — he was not himself when be 
sp<^e to me so last night " — Her eyes appealed to 
the face above her. " I could never have dreamed all 
this," she said. " Tell me that I was awake I " 

The minister's wife looked down upon her with a 
bitter smile. "So you've had your fool's paradise? 
Well, once I had mine, though 't was not your kind. 
'T is a pretty country, Audrey, but it 's not long be- 
fore they turn you out." She laughed somewhat 
drearily, then in a moment turned shrew again. "He 
never knew what people were saying?" she cried. 
" You little fool, do you suppose he cared ? 'T was 
you tliat played your cards all wrong with your Gov- 
ernor's ball last night I — setting up for a lady, for- 
sooth ! — bringing all the town about your ears I Yon 
might have known that be would never have taken 
you there in his senses. At fair View things went 
very well. He was entertained, — and I meant to see 
that no harm came of it, — and Darden got his sup. 
port in the vestry. For he was bit, — there 's no 
doubt of that, — though what he ever saw in you more 
than big eyes and a brown skin, the Lord knows, not 
I ! Only your friend I — a fine gentleman just from 
London, with a whole Canterbury book of stories 
about his life there, to spend a'most a summer on the 



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298 AUDRET 

road between his plaDtation acd a wretched glebe 
honse because he was only your friend, and had saved 
yon from the Indians when you were a child, ajid 
wished to be kind to you atill ! I '11 tell you who did 
wish to be hind to you, and that 's Jean Hugon, the 
trader, who wanted to marry you." 

Audrey rose to her feet, and moved slowly back- 
ward to the wall. Mistress Deborah went shrilly on: 
" I dare swear you believe that Mr. Haward had you 
in mind all the years he was gone from Virginia? 
Well, he did n't. He puts you with Darden and me, 
and he says, ' There 's the strip of Oronobo down by 
the swamp, — I 've told my agent that you 're to have 
from it so many pounds a year ; ' and he sails away to 
London and all the fine things there, and never thinks 
of you more until he comes back to Yirgioia and sees 
yon last May Day at Jamestown. Next morning he 
comes riding to the glebe house. * And bo,' he says to 
Darden, ' and so my little maid that I brought for 
trophy ont of the Appalachian Mountains is a woman 
grown ? Faith, I 'd quite forgot the child ; but Saun- 
derson tells me that you have not toi^ot to draw upon 
my Oronoko.' That 's all the remembrance you were 
held in, Audrey." 

She paused to take breath, and to look with shrew- 
ish triumph at the girl who leaned gainst the wall. 
" I like not waking up," siud Audrey to herself. " It 
were easier to die. Perhaps I am dying." 

" And then out be walks to find and talk to you, 
and in sets your pretty summer of all play and no 
work I " went on the other, in a high voice. " Oh, 
there was kindness enough, once you had caught bis 
fancy I I wonder if the lady at Westover praised his 
kindness ? They say she is a proud young lady : I 



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AUDREY AWAKES 299 

wonder if she liked your being at the ball last night ? 
When she comes to Fair View, I 'II take my oath 
that yoQ '11 walk no more in its garden I But perhaps 
she won't come now, — though her maid Chloe told 
Mistress Bray's M^^Hhft that she certainly loves 
him" — 

"I wish I were dead," said Audrey, "I wish I 
were dead, like Molly." She stood up straight against 
the wall, and pushed her heavy hair from her forehead. 
" Be quiet now," she said. " You see that I am awake ; 
there is no need for further calling. I shall not dream 
ag^n." She looked at the older woman doubtfully. 
" Would yon mind," she suggested, — " would you be 
so very kind as to leave me alone, to sit here awake for 
a while? I have to get used to it, you know. To- 
morrow, when we go back to the glebe house, I will 
work the harder. It must be easy to work when one 
is awake. Dreaming takes so much time." 

Mistress Deborah could hardly have told why she 
did as she was asked. Perhaps the very strang^ess 
of the girl made her uncomfortable in her presence ; 
perhaps in her sour and withered heart there was yet 
some little sonodness of pity and comprehension ; or 
perhaps it was only that she had said her say, and 
was anxious to get to her friends below, and shake 
from her soul the dust of any possible complicity with 
circumstance in moulding the destinies of Darden's 
Audrey. Be that as it may, when she had flung her 
hood upon the bed and had looked at herself in the 
cracked glass above the dresser, she went out of the 
room, and closed the door somewhat softly behind her. 



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CHAPTER XXn 
BT THE BITEBSIDE 

*' Yea, I am glad — I and my father and motlier 
and Ephraim — diat thee is returned to Fair View," 
answered Tmelove. " And has thee truly no shoes of 
l^iun and sober stuffs ? These be much too gaudy." 

"There 's a pair of black callimanoo," said the 
storekeeper reluctantly ; " but these of flowered silk 
would BO become your feet, or this red-heeled pur with 
the buckles, or this of fine morocco. Did yon think 
of me every day that I spent in Wi lliamsburgh ? " 

" I prayed for thee every day," said Tmelove sim- 
ply, — " for thee and for the sick man who had called 
thee to his side. Let me see thy callimaoco shoes. 
Thee knows that I may not wear t^ese others." 

The storekeeper brought the plainest footgear that 
his stock atForded. " Tliey are of a very small size, 
— perhaps too small. Had you not better try them 
ere you buy? I could get a lai^er pair fnnn Mr. 
Carter's store." 

Tmelove seated herself upon a convenient stool, 
and lifted her gray skirt an inch above a slender 
ankle. " Perchance they may not be too small," she 
said, and in despite of her training and the whiteness 
of her soul two dimples made their appearance above 
.the comers of her pretty mouth. MacLean knelt to 
remove the worn shoe, but found in the shoestrings 
an obstinate knot. The two had the store to them- 



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BY THE RIVERSIDE 301 

selves ; for Bphmm waited for his sigter at the land- 
ing, rocking in his boat on the bosom of the river, 
watebing a flight of wild geese drawn like a snowy 
streamer across the dark bine sky. It was late au- 
ttunp, and the forest was dressed in flame color. 

"Thy fingers move so slowly that I fear tbee is 
not well," said Truelove kindly. " They that have 
nursed men with fever do often fall ill themselves. 
Will thee not see a physician ? " 

MacLean, sanguine enough in hue, and no more 
gaunt of body than usual, worked languidly on. " I 
trust no lowland physician," he said. " In my own 
country, if I had need, I would send to the foot of 
Dun-dsrgu for black Murdoch, whose fathers have 
been physicians to the MacLeans of Duart since the 
days of Galethus. The little man in this parish, — 
bis father was a lawyer, his grandfather a merchant ; 
he knows not what was his great-grandfather I There, 
the shoe is untied ! If I came every day to your 
father's bouse, and if your mother gave me to drink 
of her elder-flower wine, and if I might sit on the 
sunny doorstep and watch yon at your spinniog, I 
should, I think, recover." 

He slipped upon her foot the shoe of black cloth. 
Truelove regarded it gravely. " 'T is not too small, 
after all," she said. "And does thee not think it 
more comely than these other, with their silly pomp 
of colored heels and blossoms woven in the silk?" 
She indicated with her glance the vainglorious row 
upon the bench beside her ; then looked down at the 
little foot in its sombre covering and sighed. 

" I think that thy foot would be fair in the shoe of 
Donald Boss I " cried the storekeeper, and kissed the 
member which he praised. 



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302 AUDREY 

Tmelovfl drew back, her cheeks very pink, and the 
dimples quite uncertain whether to go or stay. " Thee 
is idle in thy behavior," she said aCTerely. " I do 
think that thee is of tbe generation that will not team. 
I pray thee to expeditiously put back my own shoe, 
and to give me in a parcel the callimanoo pair." 

MacLean set himself to obey, though with the ex- 
pedition of a tortoise. Crisp autumn air and virid 
sunshine pouring in at window and door filled and lit 
the store. The doorway framed a picture of blue 
sky, slow-moving water, and ragged landing ; tbe win- 
dow gave upon crimson sumac and the gold of a syca- 
more. Truclove, in her gray gown and close white 
cap, sat in the midst of tbe bouquet of colors afforded 
by the motley lining of the Fair View store, and gazed 
through the window at the riotous glory of this world. 
At last she looked at MacLean. " When, a year ago, 
thee was put to mind this store, and I, coining here to 
buy, made thy acquaintance," she said softly, " thee 
wore always so stem and sorrowful a look that my 
heart bled for thee. I knew that thee was unhappy. 
Is thee unhappy still ? " 

MacLean tied the shoestrings with elaborate care ; 
then rose from his knees, and stood looking down 
from bis great height upon the Quaker maiden. His 
face was softened, and when he spoke it was with a 
gentle voice. " No," he said, " I am not unhappy as 
at &TSt I was. My king is an exile, and my chief is 
forfeited. I suppose that my father is dead. Ewin 
Mackinnon, my foe upon whom I swore revenge, lived 
untroubled by me, and died at another's hands. My 
country is closed against me; I shall never see it 
more. I am named a rebel, and chained to this soil, 
this dull and slug^sb land, where from year's end to 



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BY THE RIVERSIDE 303 

year's eoA the key keeps the hoase and the furze bush 
keeps the cow. The best years of my manhood — 
years in irhioh I should have acquired honor — have 
gone from me here. There was a man of my name 
amongst those gentlemen, ohl ofiKoers of Dundee, who 
in France did not disdain to serve as private sentinels, 
that their maintenance might not burden a king as 
unfortunate as themselves. That MacLean fell in the 
taking of an island in the Rhine which to this day is 
called the Island of the Scots, so bravely did these 
gendemen bear themselves. They made their lowly 
station honorable ; marshals and princes applauded 
their deeds. The man of my name was unfortunate, 
but not degraded ; his life was not amiss, and his 
death was glorious. But I, Angus MacLean, son and 
brother of chieftains, I serve as a slave ; giving obe- 
dience where in nature it is not due, laboring iu an 
alien land for that which profiteth not, looking to die 
peacefully iu my bed ! I should be no less than most 
unhappy." 

He sat down upon the bench beside Truelove, and 
taking the hem of her apron began to plait it between 
his fingers. " But to-day," he said, — *' but to-day 
the sky seems blue, the sunshine bright. Why is that, 
Truelove?" 

Truelove, with her eyes cast down and a deeper wild 
rose in her cheeks, opined that it was because Friend 
Marmaduke Haward was well of his fever, and had 
that day returned to Fair View. "Friend Lewis 
Contesse did tell my father, when he was in Williams- 
burgh, that thee made a tenderer narse than any wo- 
man, and that he did think that Marmaduke Haward 
owed his life to thee. I am glad that thee has made 
friends with him whom men foolishly call thy master." 



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304 AUDREY 

" Credit to that the bine sky," said the storekeeper 
whimsically ; " there is yet the sunshine to be ao- 
coanted for. TMb n>om did not look so bright half 
an hour syne." 

Bat Truelove shook her head, and would not reckon 
farther; instead heard Ephraim calling, and gently 
drew her apron from the Highlander's clasp. *' There 
will be a meeting of Friends at our house next fourth 
day," she said, in her most dovelike tones, as she rose 
and held out her hand for her new shoes. " Will thee 
come, Angus ? Thee will be edified, for Friend Sarah 
Story, who hath the gift of prophecy, will be there, 
and we do think to hear (^ great fliingB. Thee will 
come ? " 

" By St. Kattan, that will 1 1 " ezd^med the store- 
keeper, with suspicious readiness. "The meeting 
lasts not long, does it? When the Friends are gone 
there will be reward ? I mean I may sit on the door- 
step and watch you — and watch thee — spin ? " 

Truelove dimpled once more, took her shoes, and 
would have gone her way sedately and alone, but Mac- 
Lean must needs keep her company to the end of the 
landing and the waiting Ephrdim. The latter, as he 
rowed away from the F^r View store, remarked upon 
his sister's looks : '" What makes thy cheeks so pink, 
Truelove, and thy eyes so big and soft ? " 

Truelove did not know ; thought that mayhap 't was 
the sunshine and the blowing wind. 

The sun still sbone, but the wind had fallen, when, 
two hours later, MacLean pocketed the key of the 
store, betook himself again to the water's edge, and 
entering a small boat, first turned it sunwise for luck's 
sake, then rowed slowly downstream to the great-house 
landing. Here he found a handful of negroes — boat- 



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BY THE RIVERSIDE 300 

men and honae servants — basking in the sunlight. 
Jnba was of the number, and at MacLean's call 
scrambled to his feet and came to the head of the 
steps. " No, sah, Marse Duke not on de place. He 
order Mirza an' ride off " — a pause — " an' ride off 
to de glebe house. Yes, aah, I done tol' him he ought 
to rest. Goin' to wait tel he come back 7 " 

" No," answered MaoLean, with a darkened face. 
" Tell him I will come to the great house to-night." 

In effect, the storekeeper was now, upon Fair View 
plantation, master of his own time and person. There- 
fore, when he left the landing, he did not row back to 
the store, bat, it being pleasant upon the water, kept 
on downstream, gliding beneath the drooping branches 
of red and russet and gold. When he came to the 
month of the little creek that ran past Haward's gar- 
den, he rested upon his oars, and with a frowning face 
looked up its silver reaches. 

The sun was near its setting, and a still and tran- 
quil light lay upon the river that was glassy smooth. 
Bowing close to the bank, the Highlander saw through 
the gold fretwork of the leaves above him far spaces 
of pale blue sky. All was quiet, windless, listlessly 
fair. A few birds were on the wing, and far toward 
the opposite shore an idle sail seemed scarce to hold 
its way. Presently the trees gave place to a grassy 
shore, rimmed by a fiery vine that strove to cool its 
leaves in the flood below. Behind it was a little rise 
of earth, a green hillock, fresh and vernal in the midst 
of the flame-colored autumn. In shape it was like 
those hills in his native land which the Highlander 
knew to be tenanted by the daoine shi*, the men of 
peace. There, in glittering chambers beneath the 
earth, they dwelt, a potent, eerie, gossamer folk, and 



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Soe AUDREY 

tlience, men and women, they issued at times to deal 
balef ally with the mortal race. 

A woman was seated upon the hillock, qniet as a 
shadow, her head resting on her hand, her eyes npon 
the river. Dark-haired, dark-eyed, slight of figure, 
and ntterly, mournfully still, sitting alone in the fading 
light, with the northern sky behind her, for the mo< 
ment she wore to the Highlander an aspect not of 
earth, and he was startled. Then he saw that it was 
but Daiden's Audrey. She watched the water where 
it gleamed far ofF, and did not see him in his boat 
below the scarlet vines. Nor when, after a moment's 
hesitation, he fastened the boat to a cedar stump, and 
stepped ashore, did she pay any heed. It was not 
until he spoke to her, standing where be could have 
touched her with his outstretched-hand, that she moved 
or looked big way. 

*' How long since you left the glebe house ? " he 
demanded abruptly. 

" The sun was high," she answered, in a slow, even 
voice, with no sign of surprise at finding herself no 
longer alone. " I have been sitting here for a long 
time. I thoi^ht that Hugon might be coming this 
afternoon. . . . There is no use in hiding, but I 
thought if I stole down here he might not find me 
very soon." 

Her voice died away, and she looked again at the 
water. The storekeeper sat down upon the bank, be- 
tween the hillock and the fiery vine, and his keen eyes 
watched her closely. " The river," she said at last, — 
" I like to watch it. There was a time when I loved 
the woods, but now I see that they are ugly. Now, 
when I can steal away, I come to the river always. I 
watch it and watoh it, and think. . . . All that yon 



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BY THE EIVEESIDE 307 

give it is taken bo surely, and hurried away, and buried 
out of sight forever. A little while ago I pulled a 
spray of farewell summer, and went down there where 
the bank shelves and gave it to the river. It was 
gone in a moment for all that the stream seems so 
stealthy and slow." 

"The stream comes from afar," said the High* 
lander. "In the west, beneath the sun, it may be a 
torrent flashing through the mountains." 

" The mountains 1 " cried Audrey. " Ah, they are 
uglier than the woods, — blaok and terrible ! Once I 
loved them, too, but that was long ago." She put 
her chin upon her hand, and again studied the river. 
" Long ^o," she said, beneath her breath. 

There was a silence ; then, " Mr. Haward is at Fair 
View again," announced the storekeeper. 

The girl's face twitched. 

" He has been nigh to death," went on her inform- 
ant. " There were days when I looked for no morrow 
for him ; one night when I held above bis lips a mir- 
ror, and hardly thought to see the breath-stun." 

Audrey laughed. " He can fool even Death, can he 
not?" The laugh was light and mocking, a tjpkling, 
elvish sound which the Highlander frowned to hear. 
A book, worn and dog-eared, lay near her on the 
grass. He took it up and turned the leaves ; then put 
it by, and glanced uneasily at the slender, brown-clad 
form seated upon the fairy mound. 

"That is strange reading," he said. 

Audrey looked at the book listlessly. " The school- 
master gave it to me. It tells of things as they are, 
all stripped of make-believe, and shows how men love 
only themselves, and how ngly and mean is the world 
when we look at it aright. The schoolmaster says 



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908 AUDRET 

that to look Rt it aright yon most not dream ; yon 
must stay awake," — she drew ber hand across her 
brow and eyes, — " yoa must stay awake." 

*' I had rather dream," sud MaoLean shortly. " I 
have no love for your schoolmaster." 

" He is a wise man," she answered. " Now that I 
do not like the woods I listen to him when he comes 
to the glebe house. If I remember all he says, maybe 
I shall grow wise, also, and the pain will stop." Once 
more she dropped her chin upon her hand and fell to 
brooding, her eyes upon the river. When she spoke 
again it was to herself : " Sometimes of nights I hear 
it calling me. Last night, while I knelt by my win- 
dow, it cidled so loud that I put my hands over my 
ears ; but I could not keep out the sound, — the sound 
of the river that comes from the mountains, that goes 
to the sea. And then I saw -that there was a light in 
Fair View house." 

Her voice ceased, and the silence closed in around 
them. The sun was setting, and in the west were 
purple islands merging into a sea of gold. The river, 
too, was colored, and every tree was like a torch burn- 
ing stiUy in the quiet of the evening. For some time 
MacLean watched the girl, who now again seemed un- 
conscious of his presence ; but at last he got to his 
feet, and looked toward his boat " I must be going," 
he said ; then, as Audrey raised her head and the light 
struck upon her face, he continued more kindly than 
one would think so stem a seeming man could speak : 
" I am sorry for you, my maid. God knows that I 
should know how dreadful are the wounds of the 
spirit ! Should you need a friend " — 

Audrey shook her head. " Xo more friends," she 
said, and laughed as she had laughed before. " They 



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BY THE RIVERSIDE 309 

lietoDg in dreams. When you are awake, — that is a 
different thing." 

The storekeeper went his way, back to the Fair 
View store, rowing slowly, with a grim and troabled 
face, while Darden's Audrey sat still upon the green 
hillock and watched the darkening river. Behind 
her, at no great distance, was the glebe house ; more 
than once she thought she heard Hugon coming through 
the bushes and calling her by name. The river dark- 
ened more and more, and in the west the sea of gold 
changed to pl^ns of amethyst and opal. There was 
a crescent moon, and Audrey, looking at it with eyes 
that ached for the tears that would not gather, knew 
that once she would have found it fair. 

Hugon was coming, for she heard the twigs upon 
the path from the glebe house snap beneath his tread. 
She did not turn or move ; she would see him soon 
enongh, hear him soon enough. Presently his black 
eyes would look into hers ; it would be bird and snake 
over agiun, and the bird was tired of fluttering. The 
bird was so tired that when a hand was laid on her 
shoulder she did not writhe herself from under its 
touch ; instead only shuddered slightly, and stared 
with wide eyes at the flowing river. But the hand 
was white, with a gleaming ring upon its forefinger, 
and it stole down to clasp her own. " Audrey," s^d 
a voice that was not Hugon's. 

The girl flung back her head, saw Haward's face 
bending over her, and with a loud cry sprang to her 
feet. When he would have touched her again she re- 
coiled, putting between them a space of green grass. 
" I have hunted you for an hour," he began. " At 
last I struck this path. Audrey " — 

Audrey's hands went to her ears. Step by step she 



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310 AUDREY 

moved backvard, until she stood against the trank of 
a blood-red oak. When she saw that Haward followed 
her she uttered a terrified scream. At the sound and 
at the sight of her faee he stopped short, and his out- 
stretched band fell to iis side. " Why, Audrey, Au- 
drey ! " he exclaimed. " I would not hurt you, ehild. 
I am uot Jean HugOD ! " 

The narrow path down which he had come was visi- 
ble for some distance as it woond through field and 
copse, and upon it there now appeared another figure, 
as yet far ofE, but moving rapidly through the fading 
light toward the river. " Jean ! Jean 1 Jean Ha- 
gon ! " cried Audrey. 

The blood rushed to Haward's face. " As bad as 
that 1 " he said, beneath his breath. Going over to the 
girl, he took her by the hands and strove to make bet 
look at him ; but ber face was like marble, and her 
eyes would not meet his, and in a moment she bad 
wrenched herself free of his clasp. "Jean Hugont 
Help, Jean Hugon ! " she called. 

The half-breed in the distance heard her voice, and 
b^an to run toward them. 

" Audrey, listen to me ! " cried Haward. " How can 
I speak to you, how explain, how entreat, when you 
are like this? Child, child, I aju no monster! Why 
do you shrink from me thus, look at me thus with 
frightened eyes ? You know that I love you t " 

She broke from bim with lifted hands and a wail- 
ing cry. " Let me go I Let me go ! I am running 
through the corn, in the darkness, and I hope to meet 
the Indians [ I atH awake, — oh, God I I am wide 
awake 1 " 

With another cry, and with her hands shutting out 
the sound of his voice, she turned and Sed toward tbo 



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BY THE RIVERSIDE 311 

approaching trader. Haward, after one deep oath and 
an impetuona, quickly checked movement to follow the 
flying figare, stood beneath the oak and watched that 
meeting : Hugon, in his wine-colored coat and B]en< 
heim wig, fierce, inquisitive, br^^ng of what he 
might do ; the girl suddenly listless, silent, Set only 
upon an immediate retam through the fields to the 
gtebe house. 

She carried her point, and the two went away with- 
out let or hindrance from the master of Fair View, 
who leaned against the stem of the oak and watched 
them go. He had been very ill, and the hour's search, 
together with this unwonted beating of his heart, had 
made him desperately weary, — too weary to do aught 
but go slowly and without overmuch of Uiought to the 
spot where he had left his horse, mount it, and ride as 
slowly homeward. To-morrow, he told himself, he 
would manage differently ; at least, she should be 
made to hear him. In the mean time there was the 
night to be gotten through. MacLean, he remem- 
bered, was coming to the great house. What with 
wine and cards, thought might for a time be pushed 
out of doors. 



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CHAPTER XXm 



Jdba, setting candles upon a table in Haward's 
bedroom, chanced to spill melted wax upon his mas- 
ter's hand, outstretched on the board. " Damn you I " 
cried Haward, moved by sudden and nncontroUable 
irritation. " Look what you are doing, sirrah 1 " 

The negro gave a start of genaine surprise. Ha- 
ward oonid punish, — Juba had more than once felt 
the weight of his master's cane, — but justice had 
always been meted out with an equable voice and a 
fine impassivity of countenance. " Don't stand tbere 
staring at me I " now ordered the master as irritably 
as before. " Go Btir the fire, draw the curtains, shut 
out the night ! Ha, Angus, is that you ? " 

MacLean crossed the room to the fire upon the 
hearth, and stood with his eyes upon the crackling 
logs. "You kindle too soon your winter fire," he 
said. " These forests, flaming red and yellow, should 
warm the land." 

" Winter is at hand. The air strikes cold to-night," 
answered Haward, and, rising, began to pace the 
room, while MacLean watched him with compressed 
lips and gloomy eyes. Finally he came to a stand 
before a card table, set full in the ruddy light of the 
fire, and taking up the cards ran them slowly through 
his fingers. " When the lotus was all plucked and 
Lethe drained, then cardB were bom into the world," 



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A DUEL 313 

lie said sententionsly. "Come, my friend, let as for- 
get awhile." 

They sat down, and Haward dealt. 

" I came to the house landing before snnset," began 
the storekeeper slowly. " I foand you gone." 

" Ay," said Haward, gathering up hb cards. " T is 
yours to play." 

" Juba told uie that yon had called for Mirza, and 
had ridden away to the glebe house." 

"Tme," answered the other. " And what then?" 

There was a note of warning in Ms voice, but Mao- 
Lean did not choose to heed. " I rowed on down the 
river, past the mouth of the creek," he continued, with 
deliberation. " There was a mound of grass and a 
mass of colored vines " — 

" And a blood-red oak," finished Haward coldly. 
"Shall we pay closer regard to what we are doing? 
I play the king." 

" You were there I " exclaimed the Highlander. 
"You — not Jean Hugon — searched for and found 
the poor maid's hiding-place." The red came into 
his tanned cheek. " Now, by St. Andrew I " he be- 
gan ; then checked himself. 

Haward tapped with his finger the bit of painted 
pasteboard before him. "I play the king," he re- 
peated, in an even voice ; then struck a bell, and when 
Juba appeared ordered the negro to bring wine and 
to stir the fire. The fiames, leaping up, lent strange 
animation to the face of the lady above the mantel- 
shelf, and a pristine brightness to the swords crossed 
beneath the pidnting. The slave moved about the 
room, drawing the curtains more closely, arranging all 
for the night. While he was present tie players gave 
their attention to the game, but with the sound of the 
closing door MacLean laid down bis cards. 



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314 AUDREY 

" I muBt Bpeak," tie said abruptly. " The girl's 
face haunts me. You do wroug. It is oot the act of 
a gentlemaD." 

The silence that followed was broken by Haward, 
who spoke in the smooth, slightly drawling tones 
which with him spelled irritation and sudden, hardly 
controlled anger. " It is my home-coming," he said. 
" I am tired, and wish to-night to eat only of the 
lotus. Will you take up your cards ^;aiu?" 

A less impetuous man than MacLean, noting the 
signs of weakness, fatigue, and impatience, would 
have waited, and on the morrow have been listened to 
with equanimity. But the Highlander, fired by his 
cause, thought cot of delay. " To forget I " he ex- 
claimed. "That is the coward's part! I would have 
you remember : remember yonrselt, who are by nature 
a gentleman and generous ; remember how alone and 
helpless ie the girl; remember to cease from this par- 
suit I " 

" We will leave the cards, and say good-night," 
said Haward, with a strong effort for self-control. 

'* Good-night with all my heart I " cried the other 
hotly, — "when you have promised to lay no further 
snare for that maid at your gates, whose name yon 
have blasted, whose heart you have wrung, whose 
nature you have darkened and distorted " — 

"Have you done?" demanded Haward. "Once 
more, 't were wise to say good-night at once." 

"Not yet!" exclaimed the storekeeper, stretching 
out an eager hand. " That girl hath so haunting a 
face. Haward, see her not again! God wot, I think 
you have crushed the soul within her, and her name 
is bandied from mouth to month. T were kind to 
leave her to forget and be forgotten. Go to West- 



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A DUEL 315 

over : wed the lady there of whom you raved in your 
fever. You are her declared suitor; 'tis said that 
she loves you " — 

Haward drew his breath sharply and tamed iu his 
chair. Then, spent with fatigue, irritable from recent 
illness, sore with the memory of the meeting by the 
river, determined upon his course and yet deeply per- 
plexed, he narrowed his eyes and began to give poi- 
soned arrow for poisoned arrow. 

" Was it in the service of the Pretender that you 
became a squire of dames ? " he asked. " 'Gad, for a 
Jacobite you are particular! " 

MacLeiai started as if struct, and drew himself up. 
" Have a care, sir I A MacLean sits not to hear his 
king or his chief defamed. In future, pray remem- 
ber it." 

" For my part," said the other, " I would have Mr. 
Maclean remember " — 

The intonation carried his meaning. MacLean, 
flushing deeply, rose from the table. " That is unwor- 
thy of you," he said. " But since before to-night ser- 
vants have rebuked masters, I spare not to tell you 
that you do most wrongly. 'T is sad for the girl she 
died not in that wilderness where you found her." 

" Ads my life ! " cried Haward. " Leave my afbirs 
alone ! " 

Both men were upon their feet. " I took you for a 
gentleman," said the Highlander, breathing bard. " I 
said to myself : * Duart is overseas where I cannot 
serve him, I will take this other for my chief ' " — 

"That is for a Highland cateran and traitor," in- 
terrupted Haward, pleased to find another dart, but 
scarcely aware of how deadly an insult he wa^ dealing. 

In a flash the blow was struck. Juba, in the next 



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316 AUDREY 

room, hearing the ooise of the oTertumed table, Af- 
peaied at the door. " Set the table to rights and light 
the candles again," said his master calmly. " No, let 
the cards lie. Now begone to the qoarters I 'T was 
I that stumbled and overset the table." 

Following the slave to the door he looked it upon 
.him ; then turned again to the room, and to MaoLean 
standing waiting in the centre of it. " Under the cir- 
cumstances, we may, I think, dispense with prelimi- 
naries. You will give me satisfaction here and now ? " 

" Do you take it at my hands ? " asked the other 
proudly. " Just now you reminded me that I was 
your servant. But find me a sword '* — 

Haward went to a carved chest ; drew from it two 
rapiers, measured the blades, and laid one upon the 
table. MacLean took it up, and slowly passed the 
gleaming steel between his fingers. Presently he be- 
gan to speak, in a low, controlled, monotonous voice : 
" Why did you not leave me as I was ? Six months 
ago I was alone, quiet, dead. A star had set for me ; 
as the lights fail behind Ben More, it was lost and 
gone. Ton, long hated, long looked for, came, and 
the star arose a^ain. You touched my scars, and sud- 
denly I esteemed them honorable. You called me 
friend, and I turned from my enmity and clasped 
your hand. Now my soul goes back to its realm of 
solitude and hate ; now you are my foe again." He 
broke off to bend the steel within his hands almost to 
the meeting of hilt and point. *' A hated master," he 
ended, with bitter mirth, "yet one that I must thank 
for grace extended. Forty stripes is, I believe, the 
proper penalty." 

Haward, who had seated himself at his escritoire 
and was writing, turned his head. " For my reference 



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to yonr hnprisonment in Virginia I apologize. I de- 
mand tlie reparation due from one gentleman to another 
for the indignity of a blow. Pardon me for another 
moment, when I shall be at your Bervioe." 

He threw sand upon a sheet of gilt-edged paper, 
folded and superscribed it ; then took from his breast 
a thicker document. " The Solebay, man-of-war, lying 
oS Jamestown, sails at sunrise. The captain — Cap- 
tain Meade — is my friend. Who knows the fortmies 
of war? If by chance I should fall to-night, take a 
boat at the landing, hasten upstream, and hail the Sole- 
bay. When you are aboard give Meade — who has 
reason to oblige me — this letter. He will cany you 
down the coast to Charleston, where, if you change 
your name and lurk for a while, you may pass for 
a buccaneer and be safe enough. For this other 
paper" — He hesitated, then spoke on with some 
constraint : " It is your release from servitude io Vir- 
ginia, — in effect, your pardon. I have interest both 
here and at home — it hath been many years since 
Preston — the paper was not hard to obtain. I had 
meant to give it to you before we parted to-night. 
I regret that, should yon prove the better swordsman, 
it may be of little service to you." 

He laid the papers on the table, and began to divest 
himself of his coat, wa^tcoat, and long, curled peri- 
wig. MacLean took np the pardon and held it to a 
candle. It caught, but before the flame could reach 
the writing Haward had dashed down the other's hand 
and beaten out the blaze. " 'Slife, Angus, what would 
you do ! " he cried, and, taken unawares, there was 
angry concern in his voice. " Why, man, 't is lib- 
erty !" 

" I may not accept it," said MacXiean, with dry 



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318 AUDBEY 

lips. " That letter, also, is useless to me. I vonid 
you were all Ttllain." 

" Your scrapie is fantastic I " retorted the other, and 
aa he spoke he pat both papers upoo the escritoire, 
weightai^ them with the sandbox. " You shall take 
them hence when our score is settled, — ay, and use 
them as best you may I Now, sir, are you ready ? " 

" You are weak from illness," said HacLean 
hoarsely. " Let the quarrel rest until you have re- 
covered strength." 

Haward laughed. "I was not strong yesterday," 
he said. " But Mr. Everard is pinked in the side, 
and Mr. Travis, who would fight with pistols, hath a 
ball through his shoulder." 

The storekeeper started. " I have heard of those 
gentlemen I You fought them both upon the day 
when you left your sickroom ? " 

" Assutedly," answered the other, with a slight lift 
of his brows. " Will you be so good as to move the 
table to one side ? So, On guard, sir I " 

The man who had been ill unto death and the man 
who for many years had worn no sword acquitted 
themselves well. Had the room been a field behind 
Montagu House, bad there been present seconds, a 
physician, gaping chairmen, the interest would have 
been breathless. As it was, the lady upon the wall 
smiled on, with her eyes forever upon the blossoms in 
her hand, and the river without, when it could be 
heard through the clashing of steel, made but a listless 
and dreamy sound. Each swordsman knew that he 
had provoked a friend to whom his debt was great, 
but each, according to his godless creed, must strive 
as though that friend were his dearest foe. The Eng- 
lishman fought coolly, the Gael with fervor. The 



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latter had an nngnarded moment. Haward's blade 
leaped to meet it, and on the other's ehirt appeared a 
bright red stain. 

In the moment that he was touched the Highlander 
let fall his sword. Hawaxd, not nnderstanding, low- 
ered his point, and with a gesture bade his antagouiet 
lecover the weapon. But the storekeeper folded his 
arms. " Where blood has been drawn there is satis- 
faction," he said. " I have given it to yon, and now, 
by the bones of Gillean-na-Tuaidhe, I will not fight 
you longer ! " 

For a minute or more Haward stood with his eyes 
upon the ground and biB hand yet closely clasping the 
rapier hilt ; then, drawing a long breath, he took up 
the velvet scabbard and slowly sheathed his blade. 
" I am content," he said. " Your wound, I hope, ia 
slight ? " 

MacLean thrust a handkerchief into his bosom to 
stanch the bleeding. " A pin prick," he said indiffer- 
ently. 

Hia late antagonist held out his hand. " It is welt 
over. Come I We are not young hotheads, but men 
who have lived and suffered, and should know the 
vanity and the pity of such strife. Let us foi^t this 
hour, call each other friends ag^n " — 

" Tell me first," demanded MacLean, bis arm rigid 
at his side, — " tell me first why you fought Mr. Ever- 
ard and Mr. Travis." 

Gray eyes and dark blue meL " I fought them," 
said Haward, " because, on a time, they offered insult 
to the woman whom I intend to make my wife." 

So quiet was it in the room when he had spoken that 
the wash of the river, the tapping of walnut branches 
outside the window, the dropping of coals upon the 



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390 AUDBET 

hearth, became lend and ioBieteat sounds. Then, 
*' Darden's Andrey ? " said MacLean in a whisper. 

" Not Darden's Audrey, but mine," answered H^ 
ward, — " the only woman I have ever loved or shall 
love." 

He walked to the window and looked out into the 
darkness. " To-night there is no light," he said to 
himself, beneath his breath. " By and by we shall 
stand here together, listening to the river, marking the 
wind in the trees." As upon paper heat of fire may 
cause to appear characters before invisible, so, when 
be turned, the flame of a great passion had brought all 
that was highest in this gentleman's nature into his 
countenance, softening and ennobling it. " Whatever 
my thoughts before," he said simply, " I have never, 
since I awoke from my fever and remembered that 
night at the Palace, meant other than this." Coming 
back to MacLean he laid a hand upon his shoulder. 
" Who made us knows we all do need forgiveness I 
Am I no more to you, Angus, than Ewin Mor Mao- 
kinnon ? " 

An hour later, those who were to be lifetime friends 
went together down the echoing stair and through the 
empty house to the outer door. When it was opened, 
they saw that upon the stone step without, in the square 
of light thrown by the candles behind them, lay an In- 
dian arrow. MacLean picked it up. " 'Twas placed 
athwart the door," he said doubtingly. " Is it in the 
nature of a challenge?" 

Haward took the dart, and examined it curiously. 
" The trader grows troublesome," he remarked. " He 
must back to the woods and to the foes of his own 
class." As he spoke he broke the arrow in two, and 
flung the pieces from him. 



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It was a night of many stars and a keen wind. 
Moved each in hie degree by its beauty, Haward and 
MacLean stood regarding it before they should go, 
the one back to his solitary chamber, the other to 
the store which was to be his chai^ no longer than 
the morrow. " I feel the air that blows from the 
hilla," said the Highlander. "It comes over the 
heather ; it hath swept the lochs, and I hear it in the 
sound of torrents." He lifted his face to the wind. 
" The breath of freedom I I shall have dreams to- 
night." 

When he was gone, Haward, left alone, looked for 
a while upon the heights of stars. *' I too shall dream 
to-night," he breathed to himself. " To-morrow all 
will be welL" His gaze falling from the splendor of 
the skies to the swaying trees, gaunt, bare, and mnr- 
mnring of their loss to the hurrying river, sadness and 
vague fear took sudden possession of his souL He 
spoke her name over and over ; he left the house and 
went into the garden. It was the garden of the dying 
year, and the change that in the morning he had 
smiled to see now appalled him. He would have had 
it June again. Now, when on the morrow he and Au- 
drey should pass through the garden, it must be down 
dank and leaf-strewn paths, past yellow and broken 
stalks, with here and there wan ghosts of flowers. 

He came to the dial, and, bending, pressed his lips 
against the oarven words that, so often as they had 
stood there together, she bad traced with her finger. 
'* Love I thou mighty alchemist I " he breathed. " Life ! 
that Jnay now be gold, now iron, but never ^;ain 
doll lead I Death " — He paused ; then, " There 
shall be no death," he said, and left the withered 
garden for the lonely, echoing house. 



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CHAPTEB XXTT 
AUDREY COHES TO WEBTOVEB 

It was ten of the clock upon this same night when 
Hagon left the glebe house. Audrey, crouching in the 
dark beside her window, heard him bid the minister, 
as drunk as himself, good-night, and watched him go 
unsteadily down the path that led to the road. Once 
be paused, and made as if to return ; then went on to 
bis lair at the crossroads ordinary. Again Audrey 
waited, — this time by the door. Darden stumbled 
upstairs to bed. Mistress Deborah's voice was raised 
in shrill reproach, and the drunken minister answered 
her with oaths. The small house rang with their 
quarrel, but Audrey listened with indifFerence ; not 
trembling and stopping her ears, as once she would 
have done. It was over at last, and the place sank in 
silence ; but still the girl waited and listened, stand- 
ing close to the door. At last, as it was drawing to- 
ward midnight, she put her hand upon the latch, and, 
raising it very softly, slipped outside. Heavy breath- 
ing came from the room where slept her guanlians ; it 
went evenly on while she crept downstairs and un- 
barred the outer door. Sure and silent and l^ht of 
touch, she passed like a spirit from the house that had 
given her shelter, nor once looked back upon it. 

The boat, hidden in the reeds, was her destination; 
she loosed it, and taking the oars rowed down tbe 



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AUDREY COMES TO WE8T0VER 323 

creek. When she came to the garden wall, she bent 
her head and shut her eyes ; bat when she had left tbe 
creek for the great dim river, sbe looked at Fair View 
house as she rowed past it on her way to the moun- 
tains. No light to-night ; the hour was late, and he 
was asleep, and that was well. 

It was cold upon the river, and sere leaves, loosen- 
ing their bold upon that wbioh had given tbem life, 
drifted down upon ber as she rowed beneath arching 
trees. When she left the dark bank for the un- 
shadowed stream, tbe wind struck her brow and the 
glittering stars perplexed her. There were so many 
of them. When one shot, ebe knew that a soul had 
left the earth. Anotber fell, and another, — it must 
be a good night for dying. She ceased to row, and, 
leaning over, dipped ber band and arm into the black 
water. Tbe movement brought the gunwale of the 
boat even with tbe flood. . . . Say tbat one leaned 
over a little farther . . . there would fall another 
star. Grod gathered tbe stars in his hand, but be 
would Burely be angry with one tbat came before it 
was called, and the star would sink past him into a 
night forever dreadful. . . . The water was cold and 
deep and black. Great fish throve in it, and below 
was a bed of ooze and mud. . . . 

The girl awoke from her dream of self-murder with 
a cry of terror. Not tbe river, good Lord, not the 
river I Not death, but life ! With a second shudder- 
ing cry she lifted hand and arm from the water, and 
with frantic haste dried them upon the skirt of her 
dress. There had been none to hear her. Upon tbe 
midnight river, between the dim forests that ever 
spoke, but never listened, she was utterly alone. She 
took the oars again, and went on her way up the river^ 



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321 ADDBET 

rowii^^ BwiMy, tor ihe moimtwiu veie far away, and 
she might be punned. 

When Bhe drew near to Jamestown she shot far ont 
into the river, because men might be astir in the boats 
about the town landing. Anchored in midstream was 
a great ship, — a man-of-war, bnatling with guns. 
Her boat toaohed its shadow, and the lookout called 
to her. She bent her head, put forth her strength, and 
left the black hall behind her. There was another 
ship to pass, a slaver that had come in the evening 
before, and would land its cargo at sunrise. The 
stench that arose from it was intolerable, and, as the 
girl passed, a corpse, heavily weighted, was thrown 
into the water. Audrey went swiftly by, and the river 
lay clean before her. The stars paled and the dawn 
came, but she could not see the shores for the thick 
white mist. A spectral boat, with a sul like a gray 
moth's wing, slipped past her. The shadow at the 
helm was whistling for the wind, and the sound came 
strai^ and shrill through the filmy, ashen morning. 
The mist began to lift. A few moments now, and the 
river would lie dazzlingly bare between the red and 
yellow forests. She turned her boat shorewards, and 
presently forced it beneath the bronze-leafed, drooping 
boughs of a sycamore. Here she left the boat, tying 
it to the tree, and hoping that it was well hidden. 
The great fear at her heart was that, when she was 
missed, Hugon would undertake to follow and to find 
her. He had the skill to do ea Perhaps, after many 
days, when she was in sight of the mountains, she 
might turn her head and, in that lonely land, see him 
coming toward her. 

The sun was shining, and the woods were gay above 
her head and gay beneath her feet. When the wind 



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AUDREY COMES TO WESTOVER 32B 

blew, the colored leaves went before it like fligbts of 
birds. She was hungry, and as she walked she ate a 
pieoe of bread taken from the glebe-house larder. It 
was her plan to go rapidly through the settled country, 
keeping as far as possible to the great spaces of wood- 
land which the axe had left untouched ; sleeping in 
such dark and hidden hollows as she could find ; beg- 
ging food only wben she must, and then from poor 
folk who would not stay her or be overcnrious about 
her business. As she went on, the houses, she knew, 
would be farther and farther apart; the time would 
Hoon arrive when she might walk half a day and see 
never a clearing in the deep woods. Then the hills 
would rise about her, and far, far off she might see 
the mountains, fixed, cloudlike, serene, and still, be- 
yond the miles of rustling forest. There would be no 
more great houses, built for ladies and gentlemen, bnt 
here and there, at far distances, rude cabins, dwelt 
in by kind and simple folk. At such a home, when 
the mountains had taken on a deeper blue, when 
the streams were narrow and the level land only a 
memory, she would pause, would ask if she might stay. 
What work was wanted she would do. Perhaps there 
would be children, or a young girl like Molly, or a 
kind woman like Mistress Stagg ; and perhaps, after 
a long, long while, it would grow to seem to her like 
that other cabin. 

These were her rose-colored visions. At other times 
a terror took her by the shoulders, holding her until 
her face whitened and her eyes grew wide and dark. 
The way was long and the leaves were falling fast, 
and she thought that it might be true that in this 
world into which she had awakened there was for her 
no home. The cold would come, and she might have 



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no bread, and for all her wandering find none to take 
her in. In thoBe forests of the west the wolves ran 
in packs, and the Indiana burned and wasted. Some 
bitter night-time she would die. . . . Watching the 
sky from Fair View windows, perhaps he might idly 
mark a falling star. 

Alt that day she walked, keeping as far aa waa pos- 
sible to the woods, but forced now and again to trav- 
erse open fields and long stretches of sunny road. If 
ahe saw any one coming, she hid in the roadside 
bushes, or, if that could not be done, walked steadily 
onward, with her head bent and her heart beating fast. 
It must have been a day for minding one's own busi- 
ness, for none stayed or questioned her. Her dinner 
she begged from some children whom she found in a 
wood gathering nuts. Supper she had none. When 
night fell, she was glad to lay herself down upon a bed 
of leaves that she had raked together ; but she slept 
little, for the wind moaned in the half-clad branches, 
and she could not cease from counticg the stars that 
shot. In the morning, numbed and cold, she went 
slowly on until she came to a wayside house. Quaker 
folk lived there ; and they asked her no question, but 
with kind words gave her of what they had, and let 
her rest and grow warm in the sunshine upon their 
doorstep. She thanked them with shy grace, but pre- 
sently, when they were not looking, rose and went her 
way. Upon the second day she kept to the road. It 
was loss of time wandering in the woods, skirting 
thicket and marsh, forced ever and again to return to 
the beaten track. She thought, also, that she must be 
safe, so far was she now from Fair View. How could 
they guess that she was gone to the mountains ? 

About midday, two men on horseback looked at her 



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AUDREY COMES TO WESTOVER 327 

in passing. One spoke to the other, and turning their 
horses they put after and overtook her. He who had 
spoken touched her with the bntt of his whip. 
" Kcod 1 " he exclaimed. " It 'e the lass we saw run 
for a guinea last May Day at Jamestown ! Why so 
far from home, light o* heels ? " 

A wild leap of her he&rt, a singing in her ears, and 
Audrey ulntf^ed at safety. 

" I be Joan, the smith's daughter," she said stolidly. 
' " I niver ran for a guinea. I niver saw a gninea. I 
be going an errand for feyther." 

*' Ecod, then ! " said the other man. " You 're on 
a wrong scent. 'T was no dolt that ran that day I " 

The man who had touched her laughed. " 'Packs, 
yon are right, Tom ! But I 'd ha' sworn 't was that 
brown girl. Go your ways on your errand for ' fey- 
ther ' ! " As he spoke, being of an amorous turn, he 
stooped from his saddle and kissed her. Audrey, 
since she was at that time not Audrey at all, but 
(Toan, the smith's daughter, took the salute as stolidly 
as she had spoken. The two men rode away, and the 
second said to the first : " A Willi am sburgh man told 
me that the girl who won the gninea could speak and 
look like a bom lady. Did n't ye hear the Btory of 
how she went to the Governor's ball, all tricked ont, 
dancing, and making people think she was some fine 
dame from Maryland maybe ? And the next day she 
was scored in church before all the town. I don't 
know as they put a white sheet on her, but they say 
't was no more than her deserts." 

Audrey, left standing in the sunny road, retook her 
own countenance, rubbed her cheek where the man's 
lipa had touched it, and trembled like a leaf. She 
was frightened, both at the encounter and because she 



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328 AUDBET 

oonld niake herself bo like Joan, — Joan who lived 
near the crossroada ordinary, and who had been 
whipped at the Court House. 

Late that afternoon she came upon two or three 
rode dwellings clustered about a milL A hnot of 
men, the miller in the midst, stood and gazed at the 
mill-stream. They wore an angry look ; and Audrey- 
passed them hastily by. At the farthest house she 
paused to beg a piece of bread ; but the woman who 
oame to the door frowned and roughly bade her be- 
gone, and a child threw a stone at her. " One witch 
is enough to take the bread out of poor folks' mouths I " 
cried the woman. " Be off, or I '11 set the dogs on 
ye ! " The children ran after her as she hastened 
from the inhospitable neighborhood. " 'T is a young 
witch," they cried, " going to help the old one swim to- 
night 1 " and a stone struck her, bruising her shoulder. 

She b^^ to run, and, fleet of foot as she was, soon 
distanced her tormentors. When she slackened pace 
it was sunset, and she was faint with hanger and 
desperately weary. Ftom the road a bypath led to 
a small clearing in a wood, with a slender spiral of 
smoke showit^ between the trees. Audrey went that 
way, and came upon a ora^ cabin whose door and 
window were fast dosed. In the unkempt garden 
rose an apple-tree, witii the red apples shriveling upon 
its boughs, and from the broken gate a line of centra, 
black and ragged, ran down to a piece of water, here 
ghastly pale, there streaked like the sky above with 
angry erimaon. The place was very still, and tbe ur 
felt cold. When no answer oame to her first knock- 
ing, Audrey beat upon the door ; for she was suddenly 
afraid of the road belund her, and of the doleful woods 
and the coming night* 



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AUDBET COHES TO WESTOTER 32fi 

The window sbntter creaked ever so digbtly, and 
some one looked out ; then the door opened, and a 
very old and wrinkled woman, with lines of onnning 
abont her month, laid her hand npon the girl's arm. 
" Who be ye ? " she whispered. " Did ye bring warn- 
ing 1 I don't say, mind ye, that I can't make a Bb!«am 
go dry, — maybe I can and maybe I can't, — bnt I 
did n't put a word on the one yonder." She threw 
up her arms with a wailing cry. "But they won't 
believe what a poor old sonl says I Are they in an 
evil temper, honey?" 

" I dcm't know what yon mean," said Audrey. " I 
hare come a long way, and I am hungry and tired. 
Give me a jnece of bread, and let me stay with yon 
to-night." 

The old woman moved aside, and the girl, entering 
aroom that was mean and poor enough, sat down upon 
a stool beside the fire. " If ye oame by the mill," de- 
manded her hostess, with a suspicious eye, " why did 
ye not stop there for bite and sup?" 

" The men were all talking tc^ther," answered 
Audrey wearily. " They looked bo angry that I was 
afraid of them. I did stop at one house ; bnt the 
woman hade me b^one, and the children threw stones 
at me and called me a witch." 

The crone stooped and stirred the fire ; then from 
a cupboard broaght forth bread and a little red wine, 
and set them before the girl. " They called yon a 
witch, did they ? " she mumbled as she went to and fro. 
"And the men were talking and planning together?" 

Audrey ate the bread and dnuik the wine ; then, 
because she was so tired, leaned her head agwnst the 
table and fell half asleep. When she roused herself, 
it was to find her withered hostess standing over her 



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330 ACDBET 

with a sly aad toothless smile. " I 've been thinking," 
she whiBpered, " that since you 're here to mind the 
house, I '11 just step out to a neighbor's about some 
business I have in hand. You can stay by the fire, 
honey, and be warm and comfortable. Maybe I '11 
not come back to-nigbt." 

Qoing to the window, she dropped a heavy bar 
across the shutter. *' Ye 'U put the chain across the 
door when I 'm out," she oomnianded. " There be 
evilnlispoited folk may want to win in." Coming back 
to the girl, she laid a ekiuny hand upon ber arm. 
Whether with palsy or with fright the hand shook 
like a leaf, but Audrey, half asleep again, notioed 
little beyond the fact that the fire warmed her, and 
that here at last was rest. " If there should come a 
knocking and a calling, honey," whispered the witch, 
*' don't ye answer to it or unbar the door. Ye '11 save 
time for me that way. But if they win in, tell them 
I went to the northward." 

Audrey looked at her with glazed, uncomprehending 
eyes, while the gnome-like figure appeared to grow 
smaller, to melt out of the doorway. It was a miuute 
or mora before the wayfarer thus left alone in the hut 
could remember that she had been told to bar the 
door. Then her instinct of obedience sent her to the 
threshold. Dusk was falling, and the waters of the 
pool lay pale and still beyond the ebony cedars. 
Through the twilit landscape moved the crone who 
had housed her fur the night ; but she went not to the 
north, but southwards toward the river. Presently 
the dusk swallowed her up, and Audrey was left with 
the r^^ed garden and the broken fence and the tiny 
firelit hut. Reentering the room, she fastened the 
door, as she Had been told to do, and then went back 



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AUDKEr COMES TO WESTOVER 331 

to the hearth. The fire blazed and the shadows 
danced ; it was far better than last night, out in the 
cold, lying upon dead leaves, watching the falling 
stars. Here it was warm, warm as June in a walled 
garden ; the fire was red like the roses. . . . the roses 
that had thorns to bring heart's blood. 

Audrey fell fast aslesp; and while she was asleep 
and the night was yet yonng, the miller whose mill 
stream had run dry, the keeper of a tippling house 
whose oustom had dwindled, the ferryman whose child 
had peaked and pined and died, came with a score 
of men to reckon with the witch who had done the 
mischief. Finding door and window fast shut, they 
knocked, softly at first, then loudly and with threats. 
One watched the chimney, to see that the witch did 
not ride forth that way ; and the father of the child 
wished to gather brush, pile it against the entrance, 
and set all afire. The miller, who was a man of 
strength, ended the matter by breaking in the door. 
They knew that the witoh was there, because they had 
heard her moving about, and, when the door gave, a 
cry of affright. When, however, they had laid hands 
rfpon her, and dragged her out under the stars, into 
the light of the torches they carried, they found that 
the witch, who, aa was well known, could slip her 
shape as a snake slips its skin, was no longer old and 
bowed, but straight and young. 

" Let ma go I " cried Audrey. " How dare you 
hold me I I never harmed one of you. I am a poor 
girl come from a long way oflE " — 

" Ay, a long way I " excl^med the ferryman. 
*' More leagues, I '11 warrant, than there are miles in 
Virginia I We '11 flee if ye can swim home, ye witch I " 

" I 'm no witch I " cried the girl again. " I never 
harmed you. Let me go 1 " 



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332 AUDBET 

One of the torchbearers gave gronnd a little. " She 
do look mortal yomig. Bat where be the vitch, 
then?" 

Audrey strove to shake herself free. "The old 
woman left me alone in the bouse. She went to — to 
the northward." 

" She lies ! " cried the ferryman, addressing himself 
to the angry throng. The torches, flaming in the 
oij^t wind, gave fcnth a streaming, nncertunf and 
bewildering light ; to the excited imaginations of the 
nutio avengers, the form in the midst of them was 
not always that of a young girl, but now and again 
wavered toward the semblance of the hag who had 
wrought them evil. " Before the child died he talked 
forever of somebody young and fair that came and 
stood by bim when he slept. We thought *t was his 
dead mother, but now — now I see who 't was I " Seiz- 
ing the girl 1^ the wrists, he burst with her through 
the crowd. " Let the wator touch her, she '11 turn 
witch agtun I " 

The excited throng, blinded by its own im^iination, 
took up the ciy. The girl's voice was drowned ; she 
set her lips, and strove dnmbly with her captors ; but 
they swept her through the weed-grown garden and 
broken gate, past the cedars that were so tag^:ed and 
black, down to the cold and deep water. She thought 
of tlte night upon the river and of the falling stars, 
and with a sudden, piercing cty struggled fiercely to 
escape. The bank was steep ; hands pushed her fot^ 
ward ; she felt the ghastly embrace of the water, and 
saw, ere the flood dosed over her upturned face, the 
cold and quiet stars. 

. So load was the ringing in her ears that she beard 
no access ti voices apon the bank, and knew not that 



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AUDREY COUES TO WESTOVER 388 

a fresh commotion had ftrisen. She was sinking for 
the third time, and her mind had begun to wander 
in the Fair View garden, when an arm oan^t and 
hdd her up. She was borne to the shore ; there were 
men on honehaoh ; s<mie one with a dear, aathorita- 
ttve Toioe was now berating, now good-humoredly 
aigoing with, her Iat« judges. 

Tbo man who had sprung to save her held her up 
to arms that reached down from the hank above; 
another moment and cdie felt die earth again beneath 
her feet, hut could only think that, with half Ha 
dying past, these strangers had been cruel to bring 
her back. Her rescuer shook himself like a great 
dog. "I've saved the witch alive," he panted, 
" May QoA forgive and your Honor reward mc 1 " 

" Nay, worthy oonstaUe, yon must look to Sathanas 
for reward 1 " cried the gentleman who had been 
harangniDg the miller and his company. These gen- 
tly, hardly convinced, but not prepared to debate the 
matter with a justiee of the peace and a great man of 
those parts, began to slip away. The torchbearers, 
probably averse to holdii^ a light to their own coun- 
tenances, had flung the torch^ into the water, and 
now, heavily shadowed by the cedars, the place was 
in deep dai^ess. Presently there were left to berate 
only the miller and the ferryman, and at hist these 
also went sullenly away without having troubled to 
mention the witch's late transformation from age to 
yotith. 

"Where is the rescued fair one?" continued the 
gentleman who, for his own pleasure, had led the 
oonservers of law and order. " Produce the sibyl, 
bcmest Dewberry 1 Faith, if the lady be not an in 
grate, yon 've henceforth a friend at court 1 " 



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331 AUDBET 

" My name is Saunders, — Dick Saunders, your 
Honor," quoth the constable. " For the vitch, she 
lies quiet on the ground beneath the cedar yonder." 

" She won't speak I " cried another. " She just 
lies there trembling, with her face in her hands." 

" But she said, ' O Christ I ' when ve took her from 
the water," put in a third. 

" She was nigh drowned,"' 4nded the constable. 
" And I 'm a-tremble myself, the water was that cold. 
Wauns I I wish I were in the chimney comer at the 
Court House ordinary I " 

The master of Westover flung his riding cloak to 
one of the constable's men. " Wrap it around the 
shivering iniquity on the ground yonder ; and yon, 
Tom Hope, that brought warning of what your neigh- 
hoi's would do, mount and take the witch behind you. 
Master Constable, yon will lodge Hecate in the gaol 
to-night, and in the morning bring her up to the great 
house. We would inquire why a lady so accom- 
plished that she can dry a mill stream to plague a 
miller cannot drain a pool to save herself from drown- 
ing I " 

At a crossing of the ways, diortly before Court 
House, gaol, and ordinary were reached, the adventu- 
rous Colonel gave a good-night to the constable and 
his company, and, with a negro servant at his heels, 
rode gayly on beneath the stars to his house at West- 
over. Hardy, alert, in love with living, he was well 
amused by the night's proceedings. The incident 
should figure in his next letter to Orrery or to his 
cousin Taylor. 

It figured lai^ely in the table-talk next morning, 
when the sprightly gentleman sat at breakfast with 
his daughter and his second wife, a fair and youthful 



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ADDBET COMES TO WESTOVER 33S 

kmswoman of Martba and Teresa Bloaot. The gentle- 
man, ]ani)ched upon the subject of witebcraft, bandied 
it with equal wit and learning. Tbe ladies tliougbt 
tbat the water must have been ver; cold, and trusted 
that the ohl dame was properly grateful, and would, 
after such a leasoa, leave her evil practices. As they 
wero rising from table, word was brought to tbe mas- 
ter tbat constable and witch were outside. 

The Colonel kissed his wife, promised his daughter 
to be merciful, and, humming a song, went through 
the ball to tbe open house door and the broad, three- 
«de«l steps of stone. The constable was awaiting him. 

" Here be mysteries, your Honor I As I serve tbe 
King, Hwere n't Goody Price for whom I ruined my 
new frieze, but a slip of a girl I " He waved bis 
band. " Will your Honor please to look ? " 

Audrey sat in the sunshine upon tbe stone eteps 
with her head bowed upon ber arms. The morning 
that was so bright was not bright for her ; she thought 
tbat life bad used her but unkindly. A great tree, 
growing close to the house, sent leaves of dull gold 
adrift, and tbey lay at her feet and upon the skirt of 
her dress. The constable spoke to her : " Now, mis- 
tress, here 'a a gentleman as stands for the King and 
tbe law. Look up I " 

A white hand was laid upon the Colonel's arm. 
**I came to make sure tbat you were not harsh 
with tbe poor creature," siud Evelyn's pitying voice. 
" There is so much misery. Where is she V Ah I '* 

To gain at last his prisoner's attention, the con- 
stable stmok ber lightly across tbe shoulders with bis 
cane. " Get up I " be cried impatiently. " Get up 
and make your curtsy 1 £ood, I wish I 'd left yon in 
Hunter's Fond I" 



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Audrey rose, and turned her face, not to the jnstioB 
o£ the peace and arbiter of the fate of witches, bat to 
Evelyn, standing abore her, — Erelyn, slighter, paler, 
than she had been at WiUiamshnrgh, but beautiful in 
her colored, fragrant silks and the air that was hers of 
sweet and mournful distinction. Kow she cried ont 
sharply, while "That girl again I " swore the Colonel, 
beneath his breath. 

Audrey did as she had been told, and made her 
unrtsy. Then, while father and daughter stared at 
her, the gentleman very red and biting his lip, the 
lady marble in her loveliness, she tried to speak, to 
ask diem to let her go, but found no words. The face 
of Evelyn, at whom alone she looked, wavered into 
distance, gazing at her coldly and mournfully from 
miles away. She made a faint gesture of weariness 
and despur ; then sank down at Evelyn's feet, and 
lay there in a swoon. 



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CHAPTER XSy 

TWO WOUEiN 

KnXTN, bearing footstepa aorosa the floor of the 
attic room above her own bedcbamber, arose and set 
wide the door ; then went back to her chair by tiie 
window that looked ont apon green grass and party- 
colored trees and long reaches of the shining river. 
" Come here, if you please," she called to Audrey, as 
the latter slowly descended the stur from the room 
where, half asleep, half awake, she had lain since 



Audrey entered tiie pleasant chamber, furnished 
with what luxury the age afforded, and stood before 
the sometime princess of her dreams. *' Will you not 
sit down ? " a^rad Evelyn, in a low voice, and pointed 
to a chair. 

" X had rather stand," answered Audrey. " Why 
did you call me ? I was on my way " — 

The other's clear eyes dwelt upon her. " Whither 
were you going ? " 

" Out of your house," said Audrey simply, " and 
ont of your life." 

Evelyn folded her hands in her silken lap, and 
looked out apon river and sky and ceaselesB drift of 
colored leaves. ** You can never go out of my life," 
she said. " Why the power to vex and ruin was given 
you I do not know, but you have used it Why did 
you run away from Fair Yiew 7 " 



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388 AUDRET 

" That I might never see Mr. Hawanl agun," an- 
swered Audrey. She held her head up, but she felt 
the stab. It had not occarred to her that hera was 
the power to vex and ruin ; apparently that belonged 
elsewhere. 

Evelyn turned from the window, and the two wo- 
men, the princess and the herdgirl, regarded each 
other. " Ob, my God I *' cried Svelyn. " I did not 
know that you loved him so ! " 

But Audrey shook her bead, and spohe with calm- 
ness : *' Once I loved and knew it not, and once I 
loved and knew it. It was all in a dream, and now 
I have waked up." She passed her hand across her 
brow and eyes, and poshed back her heavy bur. It 
was a gesture that was common to her. To Evelyn it 
brought a sudden stinging memory of the ball-room 
at the Palace ; of bow this girl bad looked in ber 
splendid dress, with the roses in her bair ; of Ha- 
ward's words at the coach door. She had not seen 
him since that night. " I am going a locg way," con- 
tinued Audrey. " It will be as though I died. I 
never meant to harm you." 

The other gazed at her with wide, dry eyes, and 
with an unwonted color in her checks. "She is beau- 
tiful," thought Audrey ; then wondered bow long she 
must stay in this room and this bouse. Without the 
window the trees beckoned, the light was fair upon 
the river ; in the south bung a cloud, silver-hued, and 
shaped like ■ two mighty wings. Audrey, with her 
eyes upon the cloud, thought, " If the wings were 
mine, I would reach the mountains to-nigbt." 

" Do you remember last May Day ? " asked Evelyn, 
in a voice scarcely above a whisper. " He and I, sit- 
ting side by aide, watched your running,and I praised 



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TWO WOMEN 889 

yon to him. Tlien va went away, and wbile we 
gathered flowers on the road to WiUiamsburgh he 
asked me to he his wife. I said no, for be loved me 
not as I wished to be loved. Afterward, in Williams- 
burgh, he spoke again. ... I siud, ' When yon come 
to Westover ; ' and be kissed my band, and vowed 
that the next week shonld find him here." She turned 
onoe more to the window, and, with her chin in her 
hand, looked out upon the beauty oE the autumn. 
" Day by day, and day by day," she said, in the same 
hushed voice, " I sat at this window and watched for 
him to come. The weeks went by, and he oame not. 
I began to hear talk of you. Oh, I deny not that it 
was bitter I " 

*' Oh me I oh me I " cried Audrey. " I was so 
happy, and I thought no harm." 

"He came at last," continued Evelyn. "For a 
month he stayed here, paying me court. I was too 
proud to speak of what I had heard. After a while I 
thought it must have been an idle rumor." Her voice 
changed, and with a sudden gesture of passion and 
despair she lifted her arms above her bead, then 
clasped and wrung her hands. " Oh, for a month be 
forgot yovil In all the years to come I shall have 
that comfort : for one little month, in the company of 
the woman whom, because she was of his own rank, 
because she bad wealth, because others found her fair 
and honored her with heart as well as lip, he wished 
to make his wife, — for that short monUi he forgot 
you I The days were sweet to me, sweet, sweet I Oh, 
I dreamed my dreams ! . . . And then we were called 
to William sbuigb to greet the new Governor, and he 
went vrith us, and again I heard yonr name coupled 
with his. . . . There was between ns no betrothal. I 



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340 AITDKET 

had delajred to eay jres to Ub aekii^, for I mslied 
to make aura, — to make sare ihat he lored me. No 
man can say he broke troth with ma. For that my 
pride gives thanks t " 

" What must I do ? " siud Audrey to herself. " Pun 
18 hard to bear.'* 

" That night at the ball," continned Erelyn, " when, 
coming down the ebat, I saw yon standing beside him 
. . . and after that, the music, and the lights, and 
yon dancing with him, in your dark beanty, with the 
flowers in yonr hair . . . and after that, you and I in 
my coach and his face at the window I . , , Oh, I can 
tdl yon what he said I He daid ; * Oood-by, sweet- 
heart. . . . The violets are for you; but the great 
white blossoms, and the boughs of rosy mist, and all 
the trees that wave in the wind ore for Audrey.* " 

" For me ! '* cried Audrey, — " for me an hour in 
Bmton church next morning 1 " 

A silence followed her words. Evelyn, sitting in 
the great chair, rested her cheek upon ber hand and 
gazed steadfastly at her guest of a day. The sunshine 
had stolen from the room, but dwelt upon and caressed 
the world without the window. Faint, tinkling notes 
of a harpsichord floated up from the parlor below, 
followed by young Madam Byrd's voice singing to the 
perturbed Colonel : — 

" ' Lore I they inoog thee mnoh, 
Thmt u; thy iweet a bitter, 
When thy ri«h {nut it •neh 
A* nothintr «•<> 1m nreetec. 
Fait hMiM of joy and bllM ' "— 

The BODg came to an end, but after a pause the 
harpsichord sounded again, and the singer's voice rang 
out: — 

" ' Uiidet the gtMBmod tno, 
Wholnwtolieiridimo"*— 



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TWO WOMES 341 

Andre; gave an inToluntiuy cry ; then, with her lip 
between her teeth, strove for courage, failed, and with 
another strangled cry sank npon her knees before a 
ohair and buried her face in its oushione. 

When a little time had passed, Evelyn arose and 
went to her. "Fate has played with as both," she 
said, in a voice that strove for calmness. " If there 
was great bitterness in my heart toward yon then, I 
hope it is not so now; if, on that night, I spoke 
harshly, unkindly, ungenerously, I — I am sony. I 
thought what others thought. I — I oared not to 
touch you. . . . But now I am told that 't was not 
you that did unworthily. Mr. Haward haa written to 
me ; days ago I had this letter." It was in her hand, 
and she held it ont to the kneeling ^L " Yes, yes, 
you mtut read ; it oonoenui yoo." Her voice, low 
and broken, was yet imperious. Audrey raised her 
head, took and read the letter. There were but a few 
unsteady lines, written from Maiot's ordinary at Wil- 
Uamsburgh. The writer was too weak as yet tot 
many words ; few words were best, perhaps. His was 
all the blame for the occorrence at the Palace, for all 
besides. That which, upon his recovery, he must 
strive to teach his acquaintance at large he prayed 
Evelyn to believe at once and forever. She whom, 
against her vriU and in the madness of his fever, he 
had taken to the Qoyemor's house was most innocent, 
— guiltless of all save a childlike affection for the 
writer, a misplaced confidence, bom of old days, and 
now shattered by his own hand. Before that night 
she had never guessed his passion, never known the 
use that had been made of her name. This upon the 
honor of a gentleman. For the rest, as soon as his 
strei^th was regained, he purposed traveling to West- 



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over. Tbere, if Mistress Evelyn Byrd would receiTe 
him for an hour, he might in Bome measure ezphtin, 
excuse. For much, he knew, there waa no excuse,— 
only pardon to be ashed. 

The letter ended abruptly, as though the writer's 
strength were exbaasted. Audrey read it throagb, 
then with indifference gave it back to Evelyn. " It 
is true, — what he says ? " whispered the latter, crum- 
pling the paper in her hand. 

Andrey gazed up at her with wide, tearless eyes. 
*' Yes, it is true. There was no need for you to use 
those words to me in the coach, that night, — though 
even then I did not understand. There is no reasoa 
why you sboold fear to touch me." 

Her head sank upon her arm. In die parlor below 
the Binging came to an end, but the barpsichorcl, 
lightly fingered, gave forth a haunting melody. It 
was suited to the afternoon : to the golden light, the 
drifting leaves, the mnrmnre of wind and wave, with- 
out the window : to the shadows, the stillness, and the 
sorrow within the room. Evelyn, turning slowly to- 
ward tbe kneeling figure, of a sudden saw it through 
a mist of tears. Her clasped bands parted ; she bent 
and touched the bowed head. Audrey looked up, and 
her dark eyes made appeaL Evelyn stooped lower 
yet ; her tears fell npon Audrey's brow ; a moment, 
and the two, cast by life in the selfsame tragedy, were 
in each other's arms. 

"You know that I came from the mountdue,*' 
whispered Audrey. " I am going back. You must 
tell no one ; in a little while I shall be forgotten." 

"To the mountains I" cried Evelyn. "No one 
lives there. You would die of cold and hunger. No, 
no T We are alike unhappy : you shall stay witli me 
here at Westover." 



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HER DARK EVES MADE APPEAL 



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TWO WOMEN 343 

She rose from her kneee, and Audrey rose with her. 
They DO longer clasped each other, — that impulse 
was past, — bat their eyes met in sorrowful amity. 
Audrey shook her head. " That may not be," she 
said simply. "I must go away that we may not bath 
be unhappy." She lifted her fa«e to the cloud in the 
south. " I almost died last night. When you drown, 
there is at first fear and struggliug, but at butt it is 
like dreaming, and there is a lightness. . . . When 
that came I thought, 'It ie the air of the mountains, 
— I am drawing near them.' . . . Will you let me 
go now ? I will slip from the bouse through the 
fields into the woods, and none will know " — 

But Evelyn caught her by the wrist. "Yon are 
beside yourself ! I would roase the plantation ; in an 
hoar you would he found. Stay with me ] " 

A knock at the door, and the Colonel's secretary, a 
pale and grave young man, bowing on the threshold. 
He was just come from the attic room, where he had 
failed to find the young woman who had been lodged 
there that morning. The Colonel, supposing that by 
DOW she was Tecovered from her swoon and her fnght 
of the night before, and haviag certain qnestions to 
put to her, desired her to descend to tbe parlor. Hear- 
ing voices in Mistress Evelyn's room — ' 

"Very well, Mr. Drew," said the lady. "You need 
not wait. I will myself seek my father with — with 
our guest." 

In the parlor Madam Byrd was yet at the harpsi- 
chord, but ceased to touch the keys when her otep- 
dsugbter, followed by Darden's Audrey, entered the 
room. The master of Westover, seated beside fais 
young wife, looked quickly up, arched his brows and 
turned somewhat red, as his daughter, with her gliding 



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Btep, CTOBEted the room to greet him. Audrey, obeying 
a motion of her oompanioo's hand, waited beside a 
window, in the shadow of its heavy curtains. " Eve- 
lyn," quoth the Colonel, rising from his chair and 
taking his daughter's hand, ^'thia is scarce befit- 
ting"— 

Evelyn stayed his further speech by an appealing 
gesture. " Let me speak with you, sir. Ho, no, 
madam, do not go ! There is naught the world might 
not hear." 

Audrey waited in the shadow by the window, and 
her mind was busy, for she had her plans to lay. 
Sometimes Evelyn's low voice, sometimes the Cohanel's 
deeper tones, pierced her onderetanding ; when this 
was BO she moved restlessly, wishing that it were night 
and she away. Presently she began to observe the 
room, which was richly famished. There were gar- 
lands npon the ceiling ; a table near her was set with 
many curious ornaments ; upon a tall cabinet stood a 
bowl of yellow flowers ; the lady at the harpsichord 
wore a dress to match the flowers, whilf Evelyn's dress 
was white ; beyond them was a pier glass finer than 
the one at Fiur View. 

This glass reflected the doorway, and thus she was 
the first to see the man from whom she bad fled. *' Mr. 
Marmaduke Haward, massa I " announced the servant 
who bad ushered him through the hall. 

Haward, bat in hand, entered the room. The three 
beside the harpsichord arose ; the one at the window 
slipped deeper into the shadow of the curtains, and so 
escaped the visitor's observation. The latter bowed 
to the master of Westovor, who ceremoniously returned 
the salute, and to the two ladies, who curtsied to him, 
but opened not their lips. 



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TWO WOMEN 345 

" This, sir," said Colonel Byrd, holding himself veiy 
erect, " is an unexpected honor." 

** Bather, sir, an nnwished-for intrusion," answered 
the other. " I beg you to believe that I will trouble 
you for DO longer time than matters require." 

The Colonel bit his lip. " There was a time when 
Mr. Haward was most welcome to my house. B 't is 
no longer thus " — 

Haward made a gesture of assent. " I bow that 
the time is past. I am sorry that 'tis bo. X had 
thought, air, to find you alone. Am I to speak before 
these ladies ? " 

The Colonel hesitated, but Evelyn, leaving Madam 
Byrd beside the harpsichord, came to her father's 8id& 
That gentleman glanced at her keenly. There was no 
agitation to mar the pensive loveliness of her face ; 
her eyes were steadfast, the lips faintly smiling. " If 
what you have to say concerns my daughter," said the 
Colonel, *' she will listen to yoa here and now." 

For a few moments dead silence; then Haward 
spoke, slowly, weighing his words : " I am on my way, 
Colonel Byrd, to the country beyond the falls. I have 
entered upon a search, and I know not when it will be 
ended or when I shall return. Westover lay in my 
path, and there was that which needed to be said to 
yoa, sir, and to your daughter. When it has been 
said I will take my leave." He paused ; then, with a 
quickened breath, ^;a)n took up his task: "Some 
months ago, sir, I sought and obtained your permission 
to make my suit to your daughter for her hand. The 
lady, worthy of a better mate, hath done well in say- 
ing no to my importunity. I accept her decision, with- 
draw my suit, wish her all happiness." He bowed 
again formally ; then stood with lowered eyes, his hand 
griping the edge of the table. 



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" I am aware that my daughter has declined to ea- 
tertain your proposals," said the Colonel coldly, " and 
[ approve her determination. Is this all, sir?" 

"It should, perhaps, be all," answered Haward. 
" And yet " — He turned to Evelyn, snow-white, 
oalm, with that faint smile upon her face. " May I 
speak to yoQ?" he said, in a scarcely audible voice. 

She looked at him, with parting lips. 

"Here and now," the Colonel answered for her. 
*' Be brief, sir." 

The master of Fur View found it hard to speak. 
*' Evelyn " — he began, and paused, biting his Up. It 
was very quiet in the familiar parlor, quiet and dim, 
and drawing toward eventide. The lady at the harpsi- 
chord chanced to let fall her hand upon the keys. 
They gave forth a deep and melancholy sound that 
vibrated through the room. The chord was like an 
odor in its subtle power to bring crowding memories. 
To Haward, and perhaps to Evelyn, scenes long shifted, 
long faded, took on fresh colors, glowed anew, replaced 
the oanvae of the present. For years the two had been 
friends ; later months had seen him her avowed suitor. 
In this very room he had bent over her at the harpsi- 
chord when the song was finished ; had sat beside her 
in the deep window seat while the stars brightened, 
before the candles were brought in. 

Now, for a moment, he stood with his band over his 
eyes; then, letting it fall, be spoke with firmness. 
"Evelyn," he said, "if I have wronged you, forgive 
me. Our friendship that has been I lay at your feet : 
foi^t it and forget me. You are noble, generona, 
high of miod : I pray you to let no remembrance of 
me trouble your life. May it be happy, — may all 
good attend you. . . . Evelyn, good-by I " 



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TWO WOMEN 347 

He kneeled and lifted to his lips the hem of her 
dress. As he rose, and bowing low would hare taken 
formal leave of the two beside her, she put out her 
band, staying him by the gesture and the look upon 
her eoioilees face. "You spoke of a searoh," she 
said. " What Bearch ? " 

Haward raised bis eyes to here that were quiet, 
almost smiling, though darkly shadowed by past pain. 
" I will tell you, Evdyn. Why should not I tell you 
this, also ? . , , Four days ago, apon my return to 
Fair View, I sought and found the woman that I love, 
— the woman that, by all that is best within me, I 
lore worthily I She shrank from me ; she listened 
not } she shut eye and ear, and fled. And I, — confl- 
dent fool 1 — I thougbt, * To-morrow I will make her 
heed,' and so let her go. When the morrow came she 
was gone indeed." He halted, made an involuntary 
gesture of distress, then went on, rapidly and with 
agitation : " There was a boat missing ; she was seen 
to pass Jamestcwnj rowing steadily up the river. But 
for this I should have thougbt — I should have feared 
— God knows what I should not have feared ! As it 
is I have searchers out, both on this side and on the 
southern shore. An Indian and mywlf have come np 
river in bis canoe. We have not found ber yet. If 
it be so that she has passed unseen through the settled 
country, I will seek ber toward the mountains." 

"And when you have found her, what then, sir?" 
eried Qio Colonel, tapping big snuffbox. 

"Then, sir," answered Haward with hauteur, "she 
will become my wife." 

He turned again to Evelyn, but when he spoke it 
was less to ber than to himself. " It grows late," he 
sud. " Nigbt is coming on, and at the fall of the leaf 



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348 AUDR£T 

the niglits aie cold. One sleepiag in the {orest would 
suffer ... if slie sleeps. I have not slept since she 
was missed. I mnst begone " — 

" It grows late indeed," replied Evelyn, with lifted 
face and a voice low, dear, and sweet as a silver bell, 
— " so late that there is a rose flush in the sky beyond 
the river. Look I yoa may see it through yonder win- 
dow." 

She toaohed his hand and made him look to the far 
window. " Who is it that stands in the shadow, hiding 
her face in her hands? " he asked at last, beneath his 
breath, 

" 'T is Audrey," answered Evelyn, in the same clear, 
sweet, and passionless tones. Sho took her hand from 
his and addressed herself to her father. " Dear sir," 
she said, " to my mind no quarrel exists between us 
and this gentleman. There is no reason " — she drew 
herself up — " no reason why we should not extend to 
Mr. Marmaduke Haward the hospitality of Weatover." 
She smiled and leaned gainst her father's arm. " And 
now let us three, — you and Maria, whom I protest 
yon keep too long at the harpsichord, and I, who love 
this hour of the evening, — let us go walk in the gat- 
den and see what flowers the frost has spared." 



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CHAPTER XXVI 

BAUCTUABT 

*' Child," demanded Haward, " wby did yoa 
frighten me so ? " He took her hands from her face, 
and drew her from the ehadow of the curtain into the 
evening glow. Her hands lay passive in his ; her eyes 
held the despair of a runner spent and fallen, with 
the goal just in sighL " Would have had me go again 
to the monntuns for you, little maid ? " Haward's 
voice trembled with the delight of his ended quest. 

" Call me not hy that name," Audrey said. ** One 
that is dead used it." 

" I will call you love," he answered, — " my love, 
my dear love, my tme love I " 

"Nor that either," she said, and caught her breath. 
" I know not why you should speak to me so." 

*' What must I call you then ? " he asked, with 
the smile still upon his lips. 

"A stranger and a dreamer," she answered. "Go 
your ways, and I will go mine." 

There was silence in the room, broken by Haward. 
" For us two one path," he said ; " why, Audrey, Au- 
drey, Audrey I " Suddenly he caught her in his arms. 
'^ My love I" he whispered — "my love Audrey! my 
wife Audrey 1 " His kisses rained upon her face. She 
lay quiet until the storm had passed ; then freed her> 
self, looked at him, and shook her head. 

"You killed him," she said, "that on^ whom I— 



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8S0 AUDBEY 

woTshiped. It was not well done of yvn. . ■ . There 
was a dream I had last aummer. I told it to — to the 
one you killed. Now part of the dream has oome true. 
. . . You never were I Oh, death had heen easy pain, 
for it had left memory, hope ! But you never were I 
you never were 1 " 

"I ami" cried Haward ardently. "I am your 
lover! I am he who says to you, Foi^t the past, for- 
get and foi^ive, and eome with me out of your dream- 
ing. Come, Audrey, come, oome, from the dim woods 
into the snusluDe, — into the sunshine of the garden I 
The night you went away I was there, Audrey, under 
the stars. The paths were deep in leaves, the flowers 
dead and hlackening; hut the trees will be gieen 
again, and the flowers bloom I When we are wed we 
will walk there, bringing the spring with us " — 

" When we are wed 1 " she answered. " That will 
never be." 

"It will be this week," he said, smiling. "Dear 
dryad, who have no friends to make a pother, no dowry 
to lug with you, no gay wedding raiment to provide ; 
who have only to curtsy farewell to the trees and put 
yonr hand in mine " — 

She drew away her hands that he had canght in his, 
and pressed them above her heart ; then looked rest- 
lessly from window to door. " Will you let me psss, 
sir ? " she asked at last. " I am tired. I have to think 
what I am to do, where I am to go." 

" Where you are to go t " he exclaimed. " Why, 
back to the glebe house, and I will follow, and the 
minister shall marry ns. Child, child 1 where else 
should you go ? What else should you do ? ** 

" God knows .' " cried the girl, with sudden and ex- 
traordinary passion. " Bnt not that I Oh, he is gone, 
— -that other who would have understood 1 " 



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SAKCTDASr 361 

Hawatd let fall his ontstretclied hand, drew back 
a jmce or two, imd stood with knitted browB. The 
room- was very quiet; only Audrey breathed hur- 
riedly, and through the open window came the sudden, 
lonely cry of Bome river bird. The note was repeated 
ere Haward spoke again. 

" I will tary to understand," he said slowly. " Au- 
drey, is it Evelyn that comes between as ? " 

Audrey passed her hand over her eyes and brow and 
poshed back her heavy hair. ** Ob, I have wronged 
her I " she cried. " I have taken her portion. If onoe 
she was cruel to me, yet to-day she kissed me, ber tears 
fell npon my face. That which I have robbed bar of 
I want not. . . . Ob, my heart, my heart I " 

" 'T is I, not you, who have wronged this lady," said 
Haward, after a pause. " I have, I hope, her forgive- 
ness. Is this the fault that keeps you from me?" 

Audrey answered not, but leaned against the win- 
dow and looked at the cloud in the south that was now 
an amethyst island. Haward went closer to her. " Is 
it," he said, " is it because in my mind I sinned against 
you, Audrey, because I bi-ought upon you insult and 
calumny? Child, child! I am of the world. That I 
did all this is true, but now I wonld not purchace end- 
less bliss with your least harm, and your name le more 
to me than my own. Foi-give me, Audrey, forgive the 
past." He bowed his head as he stood before her. 

Audrey gazed at him with wide, dry eyes whose lids 
burned. A hot color bad risen to her cheek ; at her 
heart was a heavier aching, a fuller knowledge of loss. 
" There is no past," she said. " It was a dream and a 
lie. There is only to-day . . . and y<m arc a stranger." 

The purple cloud across the river began to darken ; 
there came again the lonely ciy of the bird ; in the 



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3B2 AUDRET 

house quarter tte slaves were singing as they went 
about their work. Suddenly Audrey laughed. It was 
sad laughter, as mocking and elfin and mirthless a 
SQund as was ever beard in autumn twilight " A 
stranger ! " she repeated. " I know yon by your name, 
and that is all. Yon are Mr. Marmaduke Haward of 
Fair View, while I ■ — I am Darden'a Audrey ! " 

She oortsied to him, so changed, so defiant, so darUy 
beautiful, that he caught his breath to behold ber. 
" You are all the world to me I " he cried. " Audrey, 
Audreyl Look at me, listen to me ! " 

He would have approached her, would have seized 
her hand, but she waved bim back. " Ob, the world I 
We must think of that I Wbat would they say, the 
Governor and the Council, and the people who go to 
balls, and all the great folk you write to in England, 
— what would they say if you married me ? Mr. Mar- 
maduke Haward of Fair View, the richest man in Vir- 
^nia I Mr. Marmaduke Haward, the man of taste, 
the scholar, the fine gentleman, proud of his name, 
jealous of his honor I And Darden's Audrey, who 
bath gone barefoot on errands to most bouses in Fair 
View parish 1 Darden's Audrey, whom the preacher 
pointed out to the people in Bruton church 1 They 
would call you mad ; they would give yon cap and 
bells ; they would say, * Does he think that be can 
make her one of us ? — her that we turned and looked 
long upon in Bruton church, when the preacher called 
her by a right name ' " — 

" Child, for God's sake I " cried Haward. 

" There is the lady, too, — the lady who left us here 
together I We must not forget to think of her, — of 
her whose picture you showed me at Fair View, who 
was to be your wife, whQ topk me by the hand that 



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SANCTUABY 363 

night at the Palace. There is reproach in her eyes. 
Ah, do you not think the ]ook might grow, might come 
to hannt us ? And yourself I Oh, sooner or later re- 
gret and weariness would oome to dwell at Fair View 1 
The lady who walks in the garden here is a fine lady 
and a fit mate for a fine gentleman, and I am a be^ar 
maid and no man's mate, unless it be Hngon's. *Hn- 
gon, who has sworn to have me in the house he has 
built I HngoD, who would surely kill you " — 

Haward caught her by the wrists, bruising them in 
his grasp. " Audrey, Audrey I Let these fancies be I 
If we love each other " — 

'* If I " she echoed, and pulled her hands away. 
Her voice was strange, her eyes were bright and 
strained, her face was burning. " But if not, what 
then ? And how should I love yon who are a stranger 
to me? Ob, a generous stranger who, where he 
thinks he has done a wrong, wonld repair the dam- 
age." Her voice broke ; she flung back her head and 
pressed her hands ^;ainst her throat. "You have 
done me no wrong," she said. " If yon had, I would 
forgive you, would say good-by to you, would go my 
way. ... as I am going now. Let me pass, sir I " 

Haward barred her way. " A stranger I " he said, 
beneath his breath. " Is there then no tie between 
shadow and substance, dream and reality ? " 

" None I " answered Audrey, with defiance. " Why 
did you oome to the mountains, eleven years ago? 
What business was it of yours whether I lived or 
died ? Oh, God was not kind to send you there 1 " 

"Yoa loved me once I" he cried. "Audrey, Au- 
drey, have I slain your love? " 

" It was never yours ! " she answered passionately, 
" It was that oth^s, — that otbeiF whom I imagined, 



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861 ATJDRET 

vfao never lived outside my dream I Oh, let me pasai, 
let me hegtme I You are cruel to keep me. I ^ I 
am so tired." 

White to the lips, Haward moved backward a step 
or two, but yet atood betweeu her and the door. 
Moments passed before he spoke ; then, " Will you 
becdme my wife ? " he asked, in a studiously quiet 
voice. " Marry me, Audrey, loving me not. Love 
may come in time, but give me now the right to be 
your protector, the power to clear your name." 

She looked at him ^th a strange smile, a fine 
gesture of scorn. " Marry you, loving you not I That 
will I never do. Protector! That is a word I 
have grown to dislike. My name I It is a slight 
thing. What matter if folk look askance when it is 
only Darden's Audrey ? And there are those whom 
an ill fame does not frighten. The schoolmaster will 
still give me books to read, and tell me what they 
mean. He will not care, nor the drunken minister, 
nor Hngon. ... I am going back to them, to Mis- 
tress Deborah and the glebe house. She will beat 
me, and the minister will curse, but they will take 
me in. ... I will work very hard, and never look to 
Fair View. I see now that I could never reach the 
mountains." She began to move toward the door. 
He kept with her, step for step, his eyes upon her 
face. " Yon will come no more to the glebe boose," 
she said. " If yon do, thongh the mountains be far 
the river is near." 

He put his hand upon the latch of the door. *' Yon 
will rest here to-night ? " he asked gently, as of a 
child. " I will speak to Colonel Byrd ; to-morrow he 
will send some one with you down the river. It will 
be managed for you, and as you wish. Yon will xert 



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SANCTUABT 3SS 

to-nigbt? Yoa go from me now to yoar room, Au- 
drey ? " 

" Yes," she answered, and thongbt she spoke the 

" I love yoo, — love yoo greatly," he oontinaed. 
" I will conqaer, — conquer and atone 1 But now, 
poor tired one, I let yoa go. Sleep, Andrey, sleep 
and dream again." He held open the door for her, 
and stood aside with bent head. 

She passed him ; then turned, and after a moment 
o£ silence spoke to him with a strange and sorrowful 
stateliness. "You think, sir," she said, " that I have 
something to forgive ? " 

" Much," he answered, — " very mach, Audrey." 

** And yoa wish my foi^veness ? " 

"Ay, Audrey, yoor for^veoess and your love." 

" The first is mine to give," she said. " If you wish 
it, take it. I foi^ve you, sir. Good-by." 

" Good-night," be answered. " Audrey, good-night." 

" Good-by," she repeated, and &lowly mounting the 
broad staircase passed from his sight. 

It was dark in the upper hall, but there was a great 
glimmer of sky, an opal space to mark a window that 
gave upon tbe sloping lawn and pallid river. The pale 
light seemed to beckon. Audrey went not on to her 
attic room, but to the window, and in doing so passed 
a small balf-open door. As she went by she glanced 
dirough tbe aperture, and saw that there was a nar- 
row stairway, built for the servants' use, winding 
down to a door in the western face of tbe bouse. 

Once at the open window, she leaned forth and 
looked to the east and the west. The hush of the 
evening had fallen ; the light was faint ; above the 
last rose flash a great star palely shone. All was 



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35$ AUDREY 

quiet, deserted ; nothing stirring on the leaf-carpeted 
dope ; no sound save the distant singing of the slaves. 
The river lay bare from shore to shore, save where the 
Westover kuiding stretched rag^dly into the flood. 
To its piles small boats were tied, but there seemed to 
be no boatmen ; wharf and river appeared as barren 
of movement and life as did the long expanse of 
duaky lawn. 

" I will not sleep in this hoose to-night," atoA An- 
drey to herself. " If I can reach those boats nnseen, 
I will go alone down the river. That will be well. I 
am not wanted here." 

When she arrived at the foot of the narrow stur, 
she slipped through the door into a vrorld all dusk and 
qniet, where was none to observe her, none to stay her. 
Crouching by the wall she crept to the front of the 
house, stole around the stone steps where, that morn- 
ing, she had sat in the sunshine, and came to the par- 
lor windows. Close beneath one was a block of stone. 
After a moment's hesitation she stood upon this, and, 
pressing her face against the window pane, looked her 
last upon the room she had so lately left. A low fire 
upon the hearth, darkly illumined it : he sat by the 
table, with his arms outstretched and his bead bowed 
upon them. Audrey dropped from the stone into the 
ever growing shadows, crossed the lawn, slipped below 
the bank, and took her way along the river edge to 
the long landing. When she was half way down its 
length, she saw that there was a canoe which she had 
not observed and that it held one man, who sat with 
his back to the shore. With a quick breath of dismay 
she stood still, then setting her lips went on ; for the 
more she thoi^ht of having to see those two again, 
Evelyn and t^e master of Fair View, the stronger 



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SANCTUABT 3B7 

grew her determination to conunence her backward 
journey alone and at once. 

She liad almost reached the end of the wharf when 
the man in the boat stood np and faced her. It was 
Hugon. The dusk was not so great bnt that the two, 
the honter and his quarry, could see each other plainly. 
The latter turned with the sob of a stricken deer, bnt 
the impulse to flight lasted not. Where might she 
go ? Kun blindly, north or east or west, through the 
fields of Westover? That would shortly lead to 
cowering in some wood or swamp while the feet of 
the searchers came momently nearer. Betum to the 
house, stand at bay once more ? With all her strength 
of soul she put this course from ber. 

The quick strife in her mind ended in her moving 
slowly, as though drawn by an invisible hand, to the 
edge of the wharf, above Hugon and bis canoe. She 
did not wouder to see him there. Every word that 
Haward had spoken in the Weetover parlor was 
burned upon her brain, and he had said that he had 
come up river with an Indian. This was the Indian, 
and to hunt her down those two had joined forces. 

" Ma'm'selle Audrey," whispered the trader, staring 
as at a spirit. 

"Yes, Jean Hugon," she answered, and looked 
down the glimmering reaches of the James, then at 
the slender canoe and the deep and dark water that 
flowed between the piles. In the slight craft, with that 
strong man the river for aUy, she were safe as in a 
tower of brass. 

" I am going home, Jean," she said. " Will yoo 
row me down the river to-night, and tell me as we go 
your stories of the woods and your father's glories in 
France ? If yon speak of other things I will drown 



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358 AUDEET 

myself, for I am tired of hearing tbem. In the morn- 
ing we will stop at some landing for food, and then 
go on again. Let us hasten " — 

The trader moistened his lips. "And him,*' be 
demanded hoarsely, — "that Englishman, that Ma^ 
maduke Haward of Fair View, who came to me and 
siud, ' Half •breed, seeing that an Indian and a blood- 
hound hare gifts in common, we will take ap the 
quest together. Find her, though it be to lose her to 
mo that same hour 1 And look that in oar travels you 
try no foul play, for this time I go armed,' — whai of 
him?" 

Audrey waTed her hand toward tbe house she had 
left. "Ho is there. Let us make haste." As she 
spoke she descended the steps, and, evading his eager 
hand, stepped into the canoe. He looked at her 
doubtfully, half afraid, so strange was it to see her sit- 
ting there, so like a spirit from the land beyond the 
sun, a recenaTU out of one of old Pierre's wild tales, 
had she come upon him. With quickened breath he 
loosed the canoe from its mooring and took up the 
paddle. A moment, and they were quit of the West- 
over landing and embarked upon a strange journey, 
during which hour after hour Hugoa made wild love, 
and hour after boor Audrey opened not ber lips. As 
the canoe went swiftly down the flood, lights sprang 
up in tbe bouse it was leaving behind. A man, rising 
from his ch^r with a heavy sigh, walked to tbe parlor 
window aud looked out upon lawn and sky and river, 
but, so dark had it grown, saw not the canoe ; thought 
only how deserted, how desolate aud lonely, was Ihe 



In Williamsburgb as at Westover the autumn was 



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SANCTUAfir aee 

dying, the winter was coming, bnt neither farewell 
nor greeting pertnrbed the cheerful town. To and fro 
through Palace and Nicholson and Duke of Gloucester 
streets were blown the gay leaves ; of early mornings 
white frosts lay upon the earth like fairy snows, but 
midday and afternoon were warm and bright. Mis- 
tress St^;g's garden lay to the south, and in sheltered 
corners bloomed marigolds and asters, while a vine, 
red-leafed and purple-berried, made a splendid nuuttle 
for the playhouse wall. 

Within the theatre a rehearsal of "Tamerlane'* was 
in progress. Turk and Tartar spoke their minds, and 
Arpasia's death cry clave the air. The victorious 
Emperor passed final sentence upon Bajazet; then, 
chancing to glance toward the wide door, snddenly 
abdicated his throne, and in the character of Mr. 
Charles Stagg blew a kiss to his wife, who, applauding 
softly, stood in the opening that was framed by the 
red vine. 

"Have you done, my dear?" she cried. "Then 
pray come with me a moment I " 

The two crossed the garden, and entered the grape 
arbor where in September Mistress Stagg had enter- 
tuued her old friend, my Lady Squander's sometime 
waiting-maid. Now the vines were bare of leaves, 
and the sunshine streaming through lay in a fiood 
upon the earth. Mary Stag's chair was set in that 
golden warmth, and upon the ground beside it had 
fallen some bright sewing. The silken stuff touched 
a coarser cloth, and that was the skirt of Darden's 
Audrey, who sat upon the ground asleep, with her 
arm across the chair, and her head npon her arm. 

"How came she here?" demanded Mr. Stagg at 
last, when he had given a tragedy start, folded his 
arms, and bent his brows. 



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"She nui away," answered Mistress Stagg, in a 
low Toioe, drawing her Bpome to a little distance ftom 
the sleeping figure. " She ran away from the glebe 
house and went np the river, wanting — the Lord 
knows why I — to teach the mountains. Something 
happened to bring her to her senses, and she turned 
back, and falling in with that trader, Jean Hugon, 
he brought her to Jamestown in his canoe. She 
walked from there to the glebe house, — that was yes- 
terday. The minister was away, and Deborah, being 
in one of her passions, would not let her in. She 'a 
that hard, is Deborah, when she 's angry, harder than 
the nether millstone ! The girl lay in the woods last 
night. I TOW 1 11 never speak again to Deborah, not 
though there were twenty Baths behind ns ! " Mis- 
tress Stagg's voice began to tremble. " I was sitting 
sewing in that chair, now listening to your voices in 
the theatre, and now harking back in my mind to 
old days when we were n't prosperous like we are now. 
. . . And at last I got to thinking of the babe, Charles, 
and how, if she bad lived and grown up, I might ha* 
sat there sewing a pretty gown for my own child, and 
how happy I would have made her. I tried to see her 
standing beside me, laughing, pretty as a rose, wait- 
ing for me to take the last stitch. It got so real that 
I raised my head to tell my dead child how I was go- 
ing to knot her ribbons, . . . and there was this girl 
looking at me ! " 

" What, Millamant I a tear, my soul ? " cried the 
theatric Mr. Stagg. 

Millamant wiped away the tear. " I '11 tell you 
what she said. She just said : * You were kind to me 
when I was here before, but if you tell me to go away 
I '11 go. You need not say it loudly.' And then she 



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SANCTUABT 361 

almost fell, aod I pnt out my arm and caught her ; 
and presently she was on her knees there beside me, 
with her head in my lap. . . . And then we talked 
together for a while. It was mostly me — she did n*t 
say much — but, Charles, the girl 's done no wrong, 
no more than our child that 'e dead and in Christ's 
bosom. She was so tired and worn. I got some milk 
and gave it to her, and directly she went to sleep like 
a baby, with her head on my knee." 

The two went closer, and looked down upon the 
slender form and still, dark face. The sleeper's rest 
was deep. A tress of hair, fallen from its fastening, 
swept her cheek ; Mistress Stag^, stooping, put it in 
place behind the small ear, then straightened herself 
and pressed her Mirabell's arm. 

" Well, my lore," quoth that gentleman, clearing 
his throat. " * Great minds, like Heaven, arc pleased 
in doing good.' My Millamant, declare your 
thoughts t " 

Mistress Stagg twisted her apron hem between 
thumb and finger. " She 'a more than eighteen, 
Charles, and anyhow, if I understand it rightly, she 
was never really bound to Darden, The law has no 
hold on her, for neither vestry nor Orphan Court had 
anything to do with placing her with Darden and 
Deborah. She 's free to stay." 

"Free to stay?" queried Charles, and took a pro- 
digious pinch of snuff. " To stay with us ? " 

" Why not ? " ashed his wife, and stole a persuasive 
hand into that of her helpmate. " Oh, Charles, my 
heart went out to her I I made her so beautiful once, 
and I could do it again and all the time. Don't you 
think her prettier than was Jane Day ? And she 's 
graceful, and that quick to learn ! Yon 're such a 



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teacher, Charles, and I know she 'd do her best ■ ■ ■ 
Perhaps, after all, there would be no need to send 
away to Bristol for one to take Jane's place." 

" H'm I " said the great man thoughtfully, and bit 
a curl of Tamerlano's vast periwig. " 'T is true I 
esteem her do dullard," he at last vouchsafed : " true 
also that she hath beauty. In fine, solely to ^ve thee 
pleasure, my Millamatit, X will give the girl a trial no 
later than this very afternoon." 

Audrey stirred in her sleep, spoke Haward's name, 
and sank again to rest. Mr. Stagg took a second 
pinch of snufE. *' There *s the scandal, my love. His 
Excellency the Grovemor's ball, Mr. Eliot's sermon, 
Mr. Marmaduke Howard's illness and subsequent 
duels with Mr. Everard and Mr. Travis, are in no 
danger of being forgotten. If this girl ever comes to 
the speaking of an epilogue, there '11 be in Williams- 
bu^b a nine days' wonder indeed ! " 

" The wonder would not hurt," said Mistress Stagg 
simply. 

" Far from it, my dear," agreed Mr. Stagg, and 
closing his snuffbox, went with a thoughtful brow 
back to the playhouse and the Tartar camp. 



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CHAPTEK XXVn 

l^HE MISSION OF TKUELOVE 

MiSTBEGS Tkdelote Tabbkee, having read in a 
Tery^ clear and gentle voice the Sennon on the Mount 
to those placid Friends, Tobias and Martha Tabeier, 
closed the book, and went about her household affurs 
with a quiet step, but a heart that somehow fluttered 
at every sound without the door. To still it she be- 
gan to repeat to herself words she had read : " Blessed 
are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the chil- 
dren of God . . . blessed are the peacemakers " — 

Winter sunshine poured in at the windows and 
door. Truelove, kneeling to wipe a fleck of dost from 
her wheel, suddenly, with a catch of her breath and a 
lifting of her brown eyes, saw in the Scripture she had 
been repeating a meaning and application hitherto 
unexpected. " The peacemaker . . . that is one who 
makes peace, — in the world, between countries, in 
families, yea, in the heart of one alone. I>id he not 
say, last time he came, that with me he foi^t this 
naughty world and all its strife ; that if I were always 
with him " — 

Truelove's countenance became exalted, her gaze 
fixed. " If it were a call " — she murmured, and for 
a moment bowed her head upon the wheel ; then rose 
from her knees and went softly through the morning 
tasks. When they were over, she took down from a 
peg and put on a long gray cloak and a gray hood 



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364 AUDREY 

that most becomingly framed lier wild-rose face ; then 
eame and stood before her father and mother. *'I 
am going forth to walk by the creekside," she said, 
in her eweet voice. " It may be that I will meet An- 
gus MaoLean." 

" If thee does," answered one tranquil Friend, " thee 
may tell him that upon next seventh day meeting will 
be held in this house." 

" Truly," said the other tranquil Fnsnd, " my 
heart is drawn toward that young man. His mind 
hath been Med with anger and resistance and the 
turmoil of the world. It were well if he found peace 
at last." 

" Surely it were well," agreed Truelove sweetly, and 
went out into the crisp winter weather. 

The holly, the pine, and the cedar made green places 
in the woods, and the multitude of leaves underfoot 
were pleasant to tread. Clouds were in the sky, hut 
the spaces between were of serenest blue, and in the 
sun^ine the creek flashed diamonds. Truelove stood 
upon the bank, and, with her hand shading her eyes, 
watched MacLean rowing toward her up the creek. 

When he had fastened his boat and taken her hand, 
the two walked soberly on beside the sparkling water 
until they came to a rude seat built beneath an oak- 
tree, to which yet clung a number of brown leaves. 
Truelove sat down, drawing her cloak about her, for, 
though the snn shone, the air was keen. MacLean 
took off his coat, and kneeling put it beneath her feet. 
He laughed at her protest " Why, tiiese winds are 
not bleak 1 " be said. " This land knows no tme and 
honest cold. In my country, night after night have 
I lain in snow with only my plaid for cover, and heard 
the spirits call in the icy wind, the kelpie shriek be- 



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THE MISSION OF TRDELOTE 365 

neatli the frozen loch. I listened ; then shut my 
eyes and dreamed warm of glory and — true love." 

" Thy coat is new," said Truelove, with downcast 
eyes. " The earth will stain the good doth." 

MaoLean laughed. " Then will I wear it stained, 
as 't is said a courtier once wore his cloak." 

" There is lace upon it," said Truelove timidly. 

MacLean turned with a smile, and laid a fold of 
her cloak against hie dark cheek. " Ah, the lace 
offends you, — offends thee, — Truelove. Why, 't is 
bat to mark me a gentleman again I Last night, at 
Williamsburgh, I supped with Haward and some 
gentlemen of Virginia. He would have me don this 
suit. I might not disohlige my friend." 

" Thee loves it," said Truelove severely. " Thee 
loves the color, and the feel of the fine cloth, and the 
ruffles at thy wrists." 

The Highlander laughed. " Why, suppose that I 
do ! Look, Truelove, how brave and red are those 
holly berries, and how green and fantastically twisted 
the leaves I The sky is a bright blue, and the clouds 
are silver ; and think what these woods will he when 
the winter is past! One might do worse, meseema, 
than to be of God's taste in such matters." 

Truelove sighed, and drew her gray cloak more 
closely around her. 

" Thee is in spirits to-day, Angus MacLean," she 
said, and sighed once more. 

" I am free," he answered. " The man within me 
walks no longer with a hanging head." 

" And what will thee do with thy freedom 1 " 

The Highlander made no immediate reply, hut, chin 
in hand, studied the drifts of leaves and the slow- 
pioving water. " I am free," he said at last. '* I 



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366 AITDREY 

wear to-day the dress of a gentlemaD. I could walk 
without shame into a hall that I know, and find there 
strangers, standers in dead men's shoon, brothers who 
want me not, — who would say behind their hands, 
' He has been twelve years a slave, and the world has 
changed since he went away ! ' . . .1 will not trouble 
them." 

His face was as sombre as when Truelove first be- 
held it. Suddenly, and against her will, tears came 
to her eyes. "I am glad — I and my father and 
mother and Ephraim — that thee goes not overseas, 
Angus MacLean," said the dove's voice. " We would 
have thee — I and my father and mother and Ephraim 
— we would have thee stay in Virginia." 

*' I am to stay," he answered. " I have felt no 
shame in taking a loan from my friend, for I shall 
repay it. He hatb lands up river in a new-made 
oonnty. I am to seat tbem for him, and there will 
be my home. I will build a house and name it Cuart ; 
and if there are hills they shall be Duo-da-gu and 
Grieg, and the sound of winter torrents shall be to me 
as the sound of the waters of Mull." 

Truelove caught her breath. " Thee will be lonely 
in those forests." 

" I am used to loneliness." 

"There be Indians on the frontier. They bum 
houses and carry away prisoners. And there ate 
wolves and dangerous beasts " — 

" I am used to danger." 

Truelove's voice trembled more and more. " And 
thee must dwell among negroes and rude men, with 
nose to comfort thy soul, none to whom thee can 
speak in thy dark hours ? " 

'* Before now I have spoken to the tobacco I have 



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THE MISSION OF TRUELOVE 36T 

planted, the trees I have felled, tlie swords and mua- 
beta I have sold." 

" But at last thee came and spoke to me ! " 

" Aj," he answered. " There have been times 
when jbu saved my soul alire. Now, in the forest, in 
my house of logs, when the day's work is done, and I 
Bit upon my doorstep and begin to hear the voiceB of 
the past crying to me like the spirits in the valley of 
Glensyte, I will think of you instead." 

" Oh 1 " cried Truelove. " Speak to me instead, 
and I will speak to thee . . . sitting upon the door- 
step of our house, when onr day's work is done I " 

Her hood falling back showed her face, clear pink, 
with dewy eyes. The carnation deepening from brow 
to throat, and the tears trembling upon her long 
lashes, she suddenly hid her countenance in her gray 
oloak. MacLean, on his knees beside her, drew away 
the folds. " Truelove, Troelove ! do you know what 
you have said ? " 

Truelove put her hand upon her heart, "Oh, I 
fear," she whispered, " I fear that I have asked thee, 
Angus MacLean, to let me be — to let me be — thy 
wife." 

The water shone, and the holly berries were gay, 
and a robin redbreast sang a cheerful song. Beneath 
the rustling oak-tree there was ardent speech on the 
part of MacLean, who found in his mistress a listener 
sweet and shy, and not garrulous of love. But her 
eyes dwelt upon him and her hand rested at ease 
within his clasp, and she liked to hear him speak of 
the home they were to make in the wilderness. It 
was to be thus, and thus, and thus! With impas- 
sioned eloquence the Gael adorned the shrine and 
advanced the merit of the divinity, and the divinity 



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SaS AUDREY 

listened with a smile, a Iduah, a tear, and now and 
then a meek rebuke. 

When an hoar had passed, the sun went under a 
chiud and the air grew colder. The bird had flown 
away, but in the rising wind the dead leaves rustled 
loudly. MacLean and Tmelove, leaving their future 
of honorable toil, peace of mind, and enduring affec- 
tion, came back to the present. 

" I must away," said the Highlander. " Haward 
waits for me at Williamsbu^h. To-morrow, dearer 
to me than Deirdre to Naoa I I will come again." 

Hand in hand the two walked slowly toward that 
haunt of peace, Tnielove's quiet home. " And Mar- 
maduke Haward awaits thee at Williamsburgh ? " said 
the Quakeress. " Last third day he met my father 
and me on the Fair View road, and checked bis horse 
and spoke to us. He is changed." 

" Changed indeed 1 " quotb the Highlander. " A 
fire bums him, a wind drives him; and yet to the 
world, last night " — He paused. 

" Last night ? " said Truelove. 

"He had a lai^ company at Marot'e ordinary," 
went on the other. " There were the Governor and 
his fellow Councilors, with others of condition or 
fashion. He was the very fine gentleman, the perfect 
host, free, smiling, full of wit. But I had been with 
bim before they came. I knew the fires beneath." 

The two walked in silence for a few moments, when 
MacLean spoke ^ain : " He drank to her. At the 
last, when this lady had been toasted, and that, he 
rose and drank to ' Audrey,' and threw his wineglass 
over his shoulder. He bath done what he could. 
The world knows that he loves her honorably, seeks 
her vainly iq marriage. Something more I know. 



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THE MISSION OF TKUELOVE 369 

He gathered the company togetlier last evemog that, 
as his guests, the highest officers, the finest gentlemen 
of the colony, should go with him to the theatre to see 
her for the first time as a player. Being what they 
were, and his guests, and his passion known, he would 
insure for her, did she well or did she ill, order, in- 
terest, decent applause." MacLean broke off with a 
short, excited laugh. " It was not needed, — his 
mediation. But he conld not know that; no, nor 
none of us. True, Stagg and his wife had bragged of 
the powers of this strangely found actress of theirs 
that they were training to do great things, but folk 
took it for a trick of their trade. Oh, there was 
curiosityenough, but 'twas on Haward's account. . . . 
Well, he drank to her, standing at the head of the 
table at Marot's ordinary, and the glass crashed over 
his shoulder, and we all went to the play." 

" Yes, yes 1 " cried Truelove, breathing quickly, and 
quite forgetting how great a vanity was under discns- 
sion. 

" 'T was ' Tamerlane,' the play that this traitorous 
generation calls for every 5th of November. It seems 
that the Governor — a Whig as rank as Ai^le — bad 
ordered it again for this week. 'T is a cursed piece 
of slander that pictures the Prince of Orange a viiv 
tuous Emperor, his late Majesty of France a hateful 
tyrant But for Haward, whose guest I was, I had 
not sat there with closed lips. I had sprung to my 
feet and given those flatterers, those traducers, the 
lie ! The thing taunted and angered until she entered. 
Then I forgot." 

" And she — and Audrey ? " 

" Arpaaia was her name in the play. She entered 
late ; her death came before the end ; there was an- 



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370 AUDEET 

other woman who had more to do. It all mattered 
not. I have seen a great actress." 

" Darden's Andre; ! " said Traelove, in a whisper. 

"That at the very first; not afterwards," answered 
MacLean. " She was dressed, they say, as upon the 
night at the Palace, that first night of Haward's fever. 
When she came npon the stage, there was a murmur 
like the wind in the leaves. She was most beautiful, 
— ' beauteous in hatred,' as the Sultan in the play 
called her, — dark and wonderful, with angry eyes. 
For a little while she must stand in silence, and in 
these moments men and women stared at her, th^n 
tamed and looked at Haward. Bnt when she spoke 
we- forgot that she was Darden's Audrey." 

MaoLean laughed again. " When the play was 
ended, — or rather, when her part in it was done, — 
the house did shake so with applause that Sta^ had 
to remonstrate. There 's naught talked of to-day in 
Williamsburgh but Arpasia j and when I came down 
Palace Street this morning, there was a great crowd 
about the playhouse door. Stagg might sell his tickets 
for to-night at a guinea apiece. ' Venice Preserved ' 
is the play." 

" And Marmadoke Haward, — what of him ? " asked 
Truelove softly. 

" lie is English," said MacLean, after a pause. 
" He can make of his face a smiling mask, can keep 
his voice as eveu and as still as the pool that is a mile 
away from the fierce torrent its parent. It is a gift 
they have, the English. I remember at Preston " — 
He broke off with a sigh. "There will be an end 
some day, I suppose. He will win her at last to his 
way of thinking ; and having gained her, he will he 
happy. And yet to my mind there is something 



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THE MISSION OF TBUELOTE 871 

unfortunate, strange and fatal, in the aspect of this 
girl. It hath always been so. She is such a one as 
the Lady in Green. On a Halloween night, standing 
in the twelfth rig, a man might hear her voice upon 
the wind. I would old Murdoch of Coll, who hath 
the second sight, were here : he could tell the ending 
of it all." 

An hour later found the Highlander well upon his 
way to Williamsburgh, walking through wood and 
field with his long stride, his heart warm within him, 
bis mind filled with the thought of Truelove and the 
home that he would make for her in the rude, up- 
river country. Since the two had sat beneath the 
oak, clouds had gathered, obscuring the sun. It was 
now gray and cold in the forest, and presently snow 
began to fall, slowly, in large fiakes, between the still 
trees. 

MacLean looked with whimsical anxiety at several 
white particles upon his suit of fine cloth, claret- 
colored and silver-laced, and quickened his pace. But 
the snow was but the lazy vanguard of a storm, and so 
few and harmless were the flakes that when, a mile 
from Williamsbnrgh and at some little distance from 
the road, MacLean beheld a ring of figures seated 
upon the ground beneath a giant elm, he stopped to 
observe who and what they were that sat so still 
beneath the leafless tree in the winter weather. 

The group, that at first glimpse had seemed some 
conclave of beings uncouth and lubberly and solely of 
the forest, resolved itself into the Indian teacher and 
his pupils, escaped for the afternoon from the bounds 
of William and Mary. The Indian lads — slender, 
bronze, and statuescjue — sat in silence, stolidly listen- 
ing to the words of the white man, who, standing in 



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the midst of the ring, with his back to the elm-tree, 
told to bis dusky charges a. Bible tale. It was the 
story of Joseph and his brethren. The clear, gentle 
tones of the teacher reached MacLean's ears where be 
stood unobserved behind a roadside growth of bay 
and cedar. 

A touch upon the shoulder made bim torn, to find 
at his elbow that sometime pupil of Mr. Charles Grif- 
fin iu whose company be bad once trudged from Fair 
View store to Williamsbm^h. 

" I was lying in the woods over there," said Hugon 
sullenly. " I heard them coming, and I took my 
leave. ' Peste ! ' siud I. * The old, weak man who 
preaches quietness under men's injuries, and the young 
wolf pack, all brown, with Indian names I ' They 
may have the woods ; for me, I go back to the town 
where I belong," 

He sbmg^^ bis shoulders, and stood scowling at 
tbe distant group. MacLean, in his turn, looked curi< 
ously at bis quondam companion of a sunny day in 
May, the would-be assassin with whom he had strug- 
gled in wind and rain beneath the thunders of an 
August storm. The trader wore his great wig, bis 
ancient steinkirk of tawdry lace, his high boots of 
Spanish leather, cracked and stained. Between the 
waves of coarse hair, out of coal-black, deep-set eyes 
looked the soul of the half-breed, fierce, vengeful, igno- 
rant, and embittered. 

" There is Mesbawa," he said, — " Mesbawa, who 
was a little boy when I went to school, but who used 
to langh when I talked of France. Pardieu 1 one day 
I found bim alone when it was cold, and there was a 
fire in the room. Next time I talked he did not 
langh 1 They are all" — he swept his band toward 



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THE MISSION OF TRU£LOV£ 378 

the cirole beoeatli the elm — ** they are all Saponies, 
Kottoways, MeherriDs ; their fathers are lovers of the 
peace pipe, and hnmble to the English. A Monaeaa 
is a great brave ; ho laughs at the Nottoways, and 
says that there are no men in the villages of the Me- 
herrius." 

" When do yon go agidn to trade with your people ? " 
asked MacLeau. 

Hugon glanced at him out of the comers of his 
black eyes, "They are not my people; ray people 
are French. I am not going to the woods any more. 
I am so prosperous. Diable ! shall not I as well as 
another stay at Williamsbui^h, dress fine, dwell in an 
ordinary, play high, and drink of the beat ? " 

"There is none will prevent you," said MacLean 
coolly. " Dwell in town, take your ease in your inn, 
wear gold lace, stake the skins of all the deer in Vir- 
ginia, drink Burgundy and Champagne, but lay no 
more arrows athwart tbe threshold of a gentleman's 
door." 

Hugon's lips twitched into a tigerish grimace. " So 
he found the arrow ? Mortdieu ! let him look to it 
that one day tbe arrow find not him ! " 

" If I were Haward," said MacLean, " I would have 
you taken up." 

The trader again looked sideways at the speaker, 
shrugged his shoulders and waved his band. " Oh, 
he — he despises me too much for that! Eh bieni 
to-day I love to see him live. When there is no wine 
in the cnp, but only dregs that are bitter, I laugh to 
see it at his lips. She, — Ma'm'selle Audrey, that 
never before could I coax into my boat, — she reached 
me her hand, she came with me down the river, 
through the night-time, and left him behind at West- 



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371 AUDREY 

over. Ha t think you not that was bittsr, that drink 
which ehe gave him, Mr. Marmaduka Haward of Fair 
Yiew ? Since then, if I go to that house, that garden 
at Williamsburgh, she hides, she will not see me ; the 
man and his wife make excuse ! Bad I But also he 
sees her never. He writes to her : she answers not. 
Good 1 Let him live, with the fire built around him 
and the splinters in his heart I " 

He laughed again, and, dismissing the subject with 
mriness somewhat exaggerated, drew out his huge gilt 
snufFbox. The snow was now falling more thickly, 
drawing a white and fleecy veil between the two upon 
the road and the story-teller and his audience beneath 
the distant elm. "Ate you for Williamsburgh?" 
demanded the Highlander, when he had somewhat 
abruptly declined to take snuff with Monsieur Jean 



That worthy nodded, pocketing his box and inci' 
dentally making a great jingling of coins. 

" Then," quoth MaeLean, " since I prefer to travel 
alone, I will wait here until you have passed the roU- 
ing'hoQse in the distance yonder. Good-day to you ! " 

He seated himself upon the stump of a tree, and, 
giving all his attention to the snow, began to whistle 
a thoughtful ^r. Hugon glanced at him with fierce 
black eyes and twitching lips, much desiring a quarrel ; 
then thought better of it, and before the tune had come 
to an end was making with his long and noiseless 
stride his lonely way to Williamsburgh, and the ordir 
nary in Nicholson Street. 



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CHAITEB XXTIU 

THE PLATEE 

Abodt this time, Mr. Cbarlea Sta^, of the WU- 
lianieburgh theatre ia Yii^oia, sent by the Horn of 
Plenty, bound for London, a long letter to an ancient 
comrade and player of small parts at Dmry Lane. A 
few days later, young Mr. Lee, writing by the Golden 
Lucy to an agreeable rake of bis acquaintance, burst 
into a five-p^e panegyric upon the Arpasia, the Bel- 
videra, the M«nimia, who had so marvelously dawned 
opon the colonial horizon. The recipient of this oom- 
munication, being a frequenter of Button's, and chan- 
oing one day t.» orack a bottle there with Mr. Colley 
Gibber, drew from his pocket and read to that gentle, 
man the eulogy of Uarden's Audrey, with the remark 
that the writer was an Oxford man and must know 
whereof he wrote. 

Gibber borrowed the letter, and the next day, in the 
company of Wilks and a bottle of Bai^ndy, compared 
it with that of Mr. Charles Stagg, — the latter's corrft. 
spoudent having also brought the matter to the great 
man's notice. 

" She might offset that pretty jade Fenton at the 
Fields, eh. Bob ? " said Gibber. " They 're of an age. 
If the town took to her " — 

" If her Belvidera made one pretty fellow weep, why 
not another ? " added Wilks. " Here — where is 't 
be saj8 that, when she went oat, for many moments 



_,.,i,z<,i:,., Google 



the pit was sUent as the grave — and that then the ap- 
phiuse was deep — not shrill — and very long ? 'Gad, 
if 't is a Barry oome again, and we could lay bandB on 
lier, the house would he made ! " 

Gibber sighed. " You 're dreaming. Boh," he said 
good-humoredly. " 'T was but a pack of Virginia 
planters, noisy over some belle sauvage with a ruiting 
tongue." 

" Men's passions are the ssjne, I take it, in Virginia 
as in London," answered the other. "If the belle 
sauvage can move to that maimer of applause in one 
spot of earth, she may do so in another. And here 
again he says, * A dark beauty, with a strange, allur- 
ing air ... a voice of melting sweetness that yet can 
BO express anguish and fear that the hl^jod turns cold 
and the heart is wrung to hear it' — Zoons, sir I 
What would it cost to buy off this fellow Stagg, and 
to bring the phoenix overseas ? " 

"Something more than a lottery ticket," laughed 
the other, and beckoned to the drawer. " We 'II wait, 
Bob, until we 're sure 't is a ph<enix indeedl There 's 
a gentleman in.Vii^inia with whom I 've some ac^ 
quaintanoe, Colonel William Byrd, that was the 
colony's agent here. I '11 write to him for a true 
account. There 's time enough." 

So thought honest Gibber, and wrote at leisure to 
hii Virginia acquaintance. It made small difterence 
whether he wrote or refrained from writing, for he had 
naught to do with the destinies of Darden's Audrey. 
'T was almost summer befdre there came an answer to 
bis letter. He showed it to Wilks in the greenroom, 
between the acts of " The Provoked Husband." Mrs. 
Oldfield read it over their shoulders, and vowed that 
't was a moving story ; nay, more, in her next scene 



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THE FLAYE:B 377 

there was a moisture in Lady Townly's eyes quite oat 
of keeping with the viTaoity of her lines. 

Daiden's Audrey had to do with Yi^nia, not Lon- 
don ; with the winter, never more the summer. It is 
not known how acoeptable her Monimia, her Belvidera, 
her Isahelhi, would have been to London playgoers. 
Perhaps they would have reoeired them as did the 
Virginians, perhaps not. Gibber himself might or 
might not have drawn for ns her portrait ; might or 
might not have dwelt upon the speaking eye, the slow, 
ezqaisite smile with which she made more sad her 
saddest utterances, the wild charm of her mirth, her 
power to make each auditor fear as hia own the im- 
pending harm, the tr^o splendor in which, when the 
bolt had fallen, converged all the pathos, beauty, and 
tenderness of her earlier scenes. A Virginian of that 
winter, writing of her, had written thus ; but then 
Williamsbni^h was not London, nor its playhouse 
Dnity Lane. Perhaps upon that ruder stage, before 
an audience less polite, with never a critic in the pit 
or footman in the gallery, with no Fops' Comer and 
no great number of fine ladies in the boxes, the jewel 
shone with a lustre that in a brighter light it had not 
worn. There was in Mr. Charles Stagg's company of 
players no mate for any gem ; this one was set amongst 
pebbles, and perhaps by contrast alone did it glow so 
deeply. 

However this may be, in Virginia, in the winter 
and the early spring of that year of grace Darden's 
Audrey was known, extravagantly prised, toasted, 
applauded to the echo. Night after night saw the 
theatre crowded, gallery, pit, and boxes. Even the 
stage had its row of chairs, seats held not too dear 
at half a guinea. Mr. Stagg had visions of a larger 



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378 AUDBET 

bouse, a fuller company, renown and prosperity on- 
dreamed of before tbat fortunate day wben, in the 
grape arbor, be and bis wife bad stood and watcbed 
Dardeu's Audrey asleep, with her bead pillowed upon 
her arm. 

Darden's Andrey! The name clung to her, though 
the minister had no further lot or part in her fate. 
The poetasters called her Charmante, Amoret, Chloe, 
— what not I Young Mr. Lee in many a slight and 
pleasing set of verses addressed ber as Sylvia, but to 
tbe community at large she was Darden's Audrey, and 
an enigma greater than tbe Sphinx. Why would she 
not marry Mr. Marmaduke Haward of Fair View? 
Was the girl looking for a prince to come overseas for 
ber? Or did she prefer to a dazzling marrii^ the 
excitement of the theatre, the adulation, furious ap- 
plause ? That could hardly be, for these things seemed 
to frighten ber. At times one could see ber shrink 
and grow pale at some great clapping or loud " Again I *' 
And only uiM>n the stage did tbe town behold ber. 
She rarely went abroad, and at tbe small white house 
in Palace Street she was denied to visitors. True, 
't was the way to keep upon curiosity the keenest edge, 
to pique interest and send the town to tbe playhouse 
as the one point of view from which tbe riddle might 
be studied. Bnt wisdom such as this could scarce be 
expected of tbe girL Given, then, that 't was not ber 
vanity which kept her Dardeu's Andrey, what was it? 
Was not Mr. Haward of Fair View rich, handsome, a 
very fine gentleman ? Generous, too, for had he not 
sworn, as earnestly as though be expected to be be- 
lieved, that the girl was pure innocence ? His baud 
was ready to bis sword, nor were men anxious to incur 
bis cold enmity, bo that tbe assertion passed without 



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THE FLAYEB 379 

open oballenge. He was mad for faer, — that was 
plain enough. And she, — well she 's woman and 
Darden's Audrey, and so doubly an enigma. In the 
mean time, to-night she plays Monimia, and her mad- 
ness makes you weep, so sad it is, so hopeless, and so 
piercing sweet. 

In this new world that was so strange to her Dar- 
den's Audrey bore herself as best she might. While 
it was day she kept within the house, where the room 
that is September she had shared with Mistress Debo- 
rah was now for her alone. Hour after hour she sat 
there, book in hand, learning how those other women, 
those women of the past, had loved, had suffered, had 
fallen to dusty death. Other hours she spent with 
Mr. Charles Stagg in the long room downstairs, or, 
when Mistress Stagg had customers, in the theatre 
itself. As in the bruided schoolmaster chance had 
given her a teacher skilled in imparting knowledge, 
80 in this small and pompous man, who beneath a garb 
ot fustian hugged to himself a genuine reverence and 
understanding of bis art, she found an instructor more 
able, perhaps, than bad been a greater actor. In the 
chill and empty playhouse, upon the narrow stage 
where, sitting in the September sunshine, she had 
asked of Haward her last favor, she now learned to 
speak for those sisters of her spirit, those dead women 
who through raptare, agony, and madness had sunk 
to their long rest, had given their bands to death and 
lain down in a common cnn. To Audrey they were 
teal ; she was free of their company. The shadows 
were the people who lived and were happy ; who night 
after night came to watt^h a soul caught in the toils, 
to thunder applause when death with rude and hasty 
hands broke the not, eet free the prisoner. 



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380 ATJB££¥ 

The ^rl dreamed as she breathed. Wakened from 
a long, long fantaay, desolate and cold to the heart in 
an alien ur, she sought for poppy and mandragora, 
and is some sort finding them dreamed again, though 
not for herself, not as before. It can hardly be said 
that she was unhappy. She walked in a pageant of 
strange miseries, and the pomp of woe was hers to 
portray. Those changelings from some fateful land, 
those passionate, pale women, the milestones of whose 
pilgrimage speUed love, ruin, despair, and death, they 
were her kindred, her sisters. Day and night they 
kept her company ; and her own pain lessened, grew 
at last to a still and dreamy sorrow, never absent, 
never poignant. 

Of necessity, importunate grief was drugged to 
sleep. In the daylight hours she must study, must 
rehearse with her fellow players ; when night came 
she put on a beantif ul dress, and to lights and music 
and loud applause there entered Monimia, or Belvi- 
dera, or Athenais. When the play was done and the 
curtain fallen, the crowd of those who would have 
stayed her ever gave way, daunted by her eyes, her 
closed lips, the atmosphere that yet wrapped her of 
passion, woe, and exaltation, the very tragedy of the 
soul that she had so richly painted. Like the ghost 
of that woman who bad so direfully loved and died, 
she was wont to slip from the playhouse, through the 
dark garden, to the smaU white bouse and ber quiet 
room. There she laid off her gorgeous dress, and 
drew the ornaments from her dark hair that was long 
as Molly's had been that day beneath the sugar-tree 
in the far-away valley. 

She rarely thoi^bt of Molly now, or of the moun- 
tains, Witii her hair shadowing her face and stream- 



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THE PLATEE 881 

ing over bared neek and bosom she sat before her mir- 
ror. The candle burned low ; the face in the glass 
seemed not her own. Dim, pale, dark-eyed, patient- 
lipped at last, oat of a mist and from a great distanoe 
the other woman looked at her. Far countries, the 
burning noonday and utter love, night and woe and 
life, the broken toy, flung with haste away I The mist 
thickened; the face with<3rew, farther, farther o£E; 
the candle burned low. Audrey put out the weak 
flame, and laid herself upon the bed. Sleep came 
soon, and it was still and dreamless. Sometimes 
Mary Stagg, light in hand, stole into the room and 
stood above the quiet form. The girl hardly seemed 
to breathe : she had a fashion of lying with crossed 
hands and head drawn slightly hack, much as she 
might he laid at last in her final bed. Mistress Stagg 
pnt out a timid hand and felt the flesh if it were 
warm ; then bent and lightly kissed hand or arm or 
the soft curve of the throat. Audrey stirred not, and 
the other went noiselessly away ; or Aadrey opened 
dark eyes, faintly smiled and raised herself to meet 
the half-awed caress, then sank to rest again. 

Into Mistress Stagg's life had struck a shaft of col- 
ored light, had come a note of strange music, had 
flown a bird of paradise. It was and it was not her 
dead child come ag^n. She knew that her Lucy had 
never been thus, aod the love that she gave Audrey 
was hardly mother love. It was more nearly an 
hom^^, which, had she tried, she could not have ex- 
plained. When they were alone together, Audrey 
called the older woman ** mother," often knelt and 
laid her head upon the other's lap or shoolder. In 
all her ways she was sweet and duteous, grateful and 
ea^ to ^^ry^. But her spirit dwelt in a rarer air. 



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SS2 AUDBET 

and thete wen heights and depths where the waif and 
her protectress might not meet. To this the latter 
gave dumb recognitioD, and though she could not un- 
derstand, yet loved her prot^g^. At night, in the play- 
house, this love was heightened into exultant worship. 
At all tjmes there was delight in the girl's beauty, 
pride in the comment and wonder of the town, self- 
oongratulattott and the pleasing knowledge that wis- 
dom is vindicated of its children. Was not all this 
of her bringing about? Did it not iirst occnr to her 
that the child might take Jane I>ay'a place? Even 
Charles, who strutted and plumed himself aiid offered 
his snufHrnz to every paeser-hy, must acknowledge 
that ! Mistress Sta^ stopped her sewing to laugh 
triumphantly, then fell to work more diligently than 
ever ; for it was her pleasure to dresa Dardon's Au- 
drey richly, in soft colors, heavy silken stuffs npoo 
which was lavished a wealth of delicate needlework. 
It was chiefly while she sat and sewed upon these 
pretty things, with Audrey, book on knee, close beside 
bev, that her own child seemed to breathe again. 

Audrey thanked her and kissed her, and wore what 
she was given to wear, nor thought how her beauty 
was enhanced. If others saw it, if the wonder grew 
by what it fed on, if she was talked of, written of, 
pledged, and lauded by a frank and susceptible people, 
she knew of all this little enough, and for what she 
knew cared not at all. Her days went dreamily by, 
nor very sad not happy ; full of work, yet vague and 
unmarked as desert sands. What was real was a past 
that was not hers, and those dead women to whom 
night by night she gave life and splendor. 

There were visitors to whom she was not denied. ' 
Darden came at times, sat in Mistress Stag's sunny 



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THE PLATER 383 

parlor, and talked to his sometime ward much as he 
had talked in the glebe-house living room, — discur- 
sively, of men and parochial affairs and hia own un- 
merited woes. Audrey eat and heard him, with her 
eyes upon the garden without the window. When he 
lifted from the chur his great shambling figure, and 
took his stained old hat and heavy cane, Audrey rose 
also, curtsied, and sent her duty to Mistress Deborah, 
hut she asited no questions as to that past home of 
hers. It seemed not to interest her that the creek 
was frozen so hard that one could walk upon it to 
Fair View, or that the minister had bought a field 
from his wealthy neighbor, and meant to plant it with 
Oronoho. Only when he told her that the little wood 
— tbe wood that she had called her own — was being 
cleared, and that all day could be heard the falling of 
the trees, did she lift startled eyes and draw a breath 
like a moan. Tbe minister looked at her from under 
sh^gy brovra, shook his head, and went his way to 
his favorite ordinary, mm, and a band at cards. 

Mistress Deborah she beheld no more ; but once 
the Widow Constance brought Barbara to town, and 
the two, being very simple women, went to the play 
to see the old Audrey, and saw instead a queen, tin- 
seled, mock-jeweled, rdad in silk, who loved and tri- 
umphed, despaired and died. Tbe mde theatre shook 
to the applause. When it was all over, the widow 
and Barbara went dazed to their lodging, and lay 
awake through the night talking of tbeae marvels. 
In the morning they found the small white house, and 
Audrey came to them in the garden. When she bad 
kissed them, the three sat down in the arbor ; for it 
was a fine, sunny morning, and not cold. Bnt the 
talk was not easy ; Barbara's eyes were so round, and 



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SU AUDREY 

the widow kept minoing her words. Only when they 
were joined hy Mistress Stagg, to whom tlie mdow 
became voluble, the two girls spoke aside. 

" I have a guinea, Barbara," said Audrey. " Mr. 
Stagg gave it to me, and I need it not, — I need 
naught in the world. Barbara, here! — 'tis for a 
warm dress and a Sunday hood." 

"Oh, Audrey," breathed Barbara, "they say you 
might live at Fair View, — that you might marry Mr. 
Haward and be a fine lady " — 

Audrey laid her baud upon the other's lips. 
** Husb ! See, Barbara, yon must have the drees 
made thus, like mine." 

" But if 't is so, Audrey I " persisted poor Barbara. 
*• Mother and I talked of it last night. She said yon 
would want a waiting-woman, and I thought — Oh, 
Audrey I " 

Audrey bit her quivering lip and da«hed away the 
team. " I 'U want no waiting-woman, Barbara. I 'm 
naught bat Andrey that yon used to be kind to. 
Let 's talk of other things. Have you missed me 
from the woods all these days ? " 

" It has been long since yon were there," said Bais 
bara dully. " 'Sow I go with Joan at times, though 
mother frowns and says she is not fit. £h, Audrey, 
if I could have a dress of red silk, with gold and bright 
stoaes, like yon wore last night t Old days I had 
more than you, but all 's changed now. Joan says " — 

The Widow Constance rising to take leave, it did 
not appear what Joan had said. The visitors from 
the country went away, uor came agun while Audrey 
dwelt iu Williamsbu^b. The schoolmaster came, 
and while he waited tor his sometime pupil to slowly 
descend tbe stairs talked l«amed]^ to Mr. Sta^ of 



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THE PLATER 386 

native genius, of the mind drawn steadily through all 
accidents and adversitieB to the end of its own dis- 
covery, and of how time and tide and all the winds of 
heaven conspire to bring the fate assigned, to make 
the pappet move in the stated measure. Mr. St^g 
nodded, took out his snuffbox, and asked what now 
was the schoolmaster's opinion of the girl's Monimia 
last night, — the last act, for instance. Good Lord, 
how still the house was I — and then one long sigh I 

The schoolmaster fingered the scars in his hands, as 
was his manner at times, hut kept his eyes upon the 
ground. When he spoke, there was in his voice nn* 
wonted life. " Why, sir, I could have said with Lear, 
^ hysterica paasio/ down, tJtou dimhing sorrow I' 
— and I am not a man, sir, that 's easily moved. The 
girl is greatly gifted. I knew that before either yon 
or the town, sir. Audrey, good-morrow ! " 

Such as these from out her old life Datden's 
Audrey saw and talked with. Others sought her, 
watched for her, laid traps that might achieve at least 
her presence, but largely in vain. She kept within 
the house ; when the knocker sounded she weut to her 
own room. No flowery message, compliment, or ap- 
peal, not even Mary Stagg's kindly importunily, could 
bring her from that coign of vantage. There were 
times when Mistress Stagg's showroom was crowded 
with customers; on sunny days yoimg men left the 
bowling green to stroll in the shell-bordered garden 
paths; gentlemen and ladies of quality passing up 
and down Palace Street walked more slowly when 
they came to the small white honse, and looked to 
see if the face of Darden's Audrey showed at any 
window. 

Thus the winter wore away. The springtime vas 



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386 AUSRET 

at haadi when one day the GroTemor, wrought upon 
bj Mistress Evelyn Byrd, sent to Mr. Stagg, bidding 
him with hie wife and the new player to the Palace. 
The three, dressed in their best, were ushered into the 
drawing-rooin, where they found his Excellency at 
chess with the Attorney-General ; a third gentleman, 
seated somewhat in the shadow, watching the game. 
A servant placed chairs for the people from the thea- 
tre. His Excellency checkmated his antagonist, and, 
leaning back in his great chair, looked at Darden's 
Audrey, but addressed his conversation to Mr. Charles 
Stagg. The great man was condescendingly affable, 
the lesser one obsequious ; while they talked the gen- 
tleman in the shadow arose and drew his chair to Au- 
drey's side. 'T was Colonel Byrd, and he spoke to 
the girl kindly and courteously ; asking after her wel- 
fare, giving her her meed of praise, dwelling half 
humorously upon the astonishment and delight into 
which she had surprised the play-loving town. An- 
drey listened with downcast eyes to the suave tones, 
the well-turned compliments, but when she must speak 
spoke quietly and well. 

At last the Governor turned toward her, and began 
to ask well-meant questions and to give pompous en- 
couragement to the new player. No reference was 
made to that other time when she had visited the 
Palace. A servant poured for each of the three a 
glass of wine. His Excellency graciously desired that 
they shortly give ' Tamerlane ' again, that being a play 
which, as a true Whig and a hater of all tyrants, he 
much delighted in, and as graciously announced his 
intention of bestowing upon the company two slightly 
tarnished birthday suits. The great man then arose, 
and the andience was over. 



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THE PLATEE 887 

Ontside the honae, in the sunny walk leading to the 
gates, the three from the theatre met, full face, a lad; 
and two gentlemen who had been sanntertng up and 
down in the pleasant weather. The lady was Eveljm 
Byrd ; the gentlemen were Mr. Lee and Mr. Grymes. 

Audrey, moving slightly in advance of her compan- 
ions, halted at the sight of Evelyn, and the rich color 
suited to her face ; but the other, pale and lovely, 
kept her composure, and, with a smile and a few 
gracefnl words of greeting, curtsied deeply to the 
player. Audrey, with a little oatofa of her breath, re- 
turned the curtsy. Both women were richly dressed, 
both were beautiful *, it seemed a ceremonious meeting 
of two ladies of quality. The gentlemen also bowed 
profoundly, pressing their bats againat their hearts. 
Mistress Stagg, to whom her prot^g^'s aversion to 
company was no light cross, twitched ber Mirabell by 
the sleeve and, han^ng upon his arm, prevented his 
further advance. The action said : " Let the child 
alone ; maybe when the ice is once broken she '11 see 
people, and not be so sby ^md strange ! " 

" Mr. Lee," said Evelyn sweetly, " I have dropped 
my glove, — perhaps in the summer-house on the ter- 
race. It yon win be so good ? Mr. Grymes, will 
you desire Mr. Stagg yonder to shortly visit me at my 
lodging? I wish to bespeak a play, and would confer 
with him on the matter." 

The gentlemen bowed and hasted upon their several 
errands, leaving Audrey and Evelyn standing face to 
face in the snnny path. *'Yoa are well, I hope," said 
the latter, in her low, clear voice, " and happy ? " 

" I am well. Mistress Evelyn," answered Audrey. 
" I think that I am not unhappy." 

The other gazed at her in silence ; then, " We have 



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888 AUBBET 

all been blind," she said. " 'T is not a year since May 
Day and tbe Jaquelins' menymaking. It seems mach 
longer. Ton won the race, — do you remember? — 
and took the prize from my band. And neither of ub 
tbonght o£ all that should follow — did we ? — or 
guessed at other days. I saw yon last night at the 
theatre, and yon made my heart like to burst for pity 
and sorrow. Yon were only playing at woe ? Yon 
are not unhappy, not like that ? " 

Audrey shook her head. " No, not like that." 

There was a pause, broken by Evelyn. "Mr.Haward 
is in town," she sud, in a low but unfaltering voice, 
" He was at the playhouse last night I watched him 
sitting in a box, in the shadow. . . . You also saw 
him?" 

" Yes," said Audrey. " He had not been there for 
a long, long time. At first he came night after night. 
... I wrote to him at last and told him how he 
troubled me, — made me forget my lines, — and then 
he oame no more." 

There was in her tone a strange wistfulnese. Eve- 
lyn drew her breath sharply, glanced swiftly at the 
dark face and liquid eyes. Mr. Grymes yet held the 
manager and bis wife in conversation, bnt Mr. Lee, a 
small jessamine-scented glove ii;i hand, was hurrying 
toward them from the summer-honse. 

*' Yon think that you do not love Mr, Haward ? " 
said Evelyn, in a low voice. 

" I loved one that never lived," said Audrey simply. 
** It was all in a dream from which I have waked. I 
told him that at Westover, and afterwards here in 
Williamsbni^h. I grew so tired at last — it hurt me 
so to tell him . . . and then I wrote the letter. He 
has been at Fur View this long time, has he not ? " 



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THE FLAYER 38» 

" Ye9," said Evelyn quietly. " He has been alone 
at Fair View," The rose in her cheeks had faded ; 
she put her lace handkerchief to her lips, and shut her 
hand so closely that the nails hit into the palm. In a 
moment, however, she was smiling, a faint, inscmtft- 
bte smile', and presently she came a little nearer and 
took Audrey's hand in her own. 

The soft, hot, lingering touch thrilled the girl. She 
began to speak hurriedly, not knowing why she spoke 
nor what she wished to say : '* Mistress Evelja " — 

" Yes, Audrey," said Evelyn, and laid a fluttering 
touch upon the other's lips, then in a moment spoke 
herself: "You are to remember always, though yon 
love him not, Audrey, that he never was true lover of 
mine; that now and forever, and though yon died to- 
night, he is to me but an old acquaintance, — Mr. 
Marmaduke Haward of Fair View. Remember also 
that it was not your fault, nor his perha^ nor mine, 
and that with all my heart I wish his happiness. . . . 
Ah, Mr. Lee, you found it? My thanks, sir." 

Mr. Lee, having restored the glove with all the 
pretty froth of words which the occasion merited, and 
seen Mistress Evelyn turn aside to speak with Mr. 
Stagg, found himself mightily inclined to improve the 
golden opportunity and at once lay siege to this para- 
gon from the playhouse. Two low hows, a three-piled, 
gold-embroidered compliment, a quotation from his 
"To Sylvia upon her Leaving the Theatre," and the 
young gentleman thought his lines well laid. But 
Sylvia grew restless, dealt in monosyllables, and 
finidly retreated to Mistress Stage's side. " Shall we 
not go home ? " she whispered. "I — I am tired, and 
I have my part to study, the long speech at the end 
that I stumbled in last night. Ab, let na go I " 



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Mistress Stagg sighecl over the girl's coDtumacy. 
It was not thus id Bath when she was yoimg, and men 
of fashioD flocked to oomplimeot a handsome player. 
Now there was naught to do bat to let the child have 
her way. She and Audrey made their curtsies, and 
Mr. Charles Stagg his bow, which was modeled after 
that of Beau Nash. Then the three went down the 
sonny path to the Palace gates, and Kvelyn with the 
two gentlemen moved toward the house and the com- 
pany within. 



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AMOK VINCIT 

Bt now it was early spring in Vir^nia, and a time 
of balm and pleaaantneBS. The season had not entered 
into its complete herit^e of gay hnes, Bweet odors, 
song, and wealth of bliss. Its birthday robe was yet 
a-weaving, its coronal of blossoms yet folded bads, its 
choristers not ready with their fullest pteana. But 
everywhere was earnest of future riches. In the forest 
the bloodroot was in flower, and tiie bluebird and the 
redbird flashed from the maple that was touched with 
fire to the beech jnst lifted from a pale green fountain. 
In Mistress Sta^s garden daGEodils bloomed, and dim 
blue hyacinths made sweet places in the grass. The 
sun lay warm upon upturned earth, blackbirds rose in 
squadrons and darkened the yet leafless trees, and 
every wind brought rumors of the heyday toward 
which the earth was spinning. The days were long 
and sweet ; at night a moon came up, and between it 
and the earth played soft and vernal airs. Then a 
pale light flooded the garden, the shelb bordering its 
paths gleamed like threaded pearls, and the house 
showed whiter than a marble sepulchre. Mild in- 
cense, cool winds, were there, but quiet came fitfully 
between the bursts of noise from the lit theatre. 

On such a night as this Audrey, clothed in red silk, 
with a baud of false jewels about her shadowy hair, 
slipped through the stage door into the garden, and 



DiailizodbvGoOgle 



SOS AUDBET 

moved across it to the small white house and rest. 
Her part io the play was done ; for all their storming 
she would not stay. Silence and herself alone, and 
the mirror in her room ; then, sitting hefore the glass, 
to see in it darkly the woman whom she had left dead 
upon the boards yonder, — no, not yonder, hut in a far 
country, and a fair and great city. Lore \ love t and 
death for love I and her own face in the mirror gazing 
at her with eyes of that long-dead Greek. It was the 
exaltation and the dream, mournful, yet not without 
its luxury, that ended her every day. When the can- 
dle burned low, when the face looked but dimly from 
the glass, then would she rise and quench the flame, 
and lay herself down to sleep, with the moonlight upon 
her crossed hands and quiet brow. 

She passed through the grape aibor, and opened the 
door at which Haward had knocked that September 
night of the Governor's ball. She was in Mistress 
Stagg's long room ; at that hour it should have been 
lit only by a dying fire and a solitary candle. Now 
the fire was low enough, but the room seemed aflare 
with myrtle tapers. Audrey, coining from the dimness 
without, shaded her eyes with her hand. The heavy 
door shut to behind her ; unseeing still she moved to- 
ward the fire, bat in a moment let fall her hand and 
began to wonder at the unwonted lights. Mistress 
Stagg was yet in the playhouse ; who then had lit 
these candles? She turned, and saw Haward stand- 
ing with folded arms between her and the door. 

The silence was long. He was Marmaduke Haward 
with aU his powers gathered, calm, determined, so 
desperate to have done with this thing, to at once and 
forever gain his own and master fate, that his stillness 



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AMOR VTBTCIT 393 

was that of deepest waters, his cool equanimity that of 
the gamester who knows how will fall the loaded dice. 
Dressed with his accustomed care, very pale, composed 
and quiet, he faced her whose spirit yet lingered in a 
far city, who in the dreamy exaltation of this midnight 
hour was ever half Audrey of the garden, half that 
other woman in a dress of red silk, with jewels in her 
hair, who, love's martyr, had exulted, given all, and 
died. 

" How did you oome here ? " she breathed at last. 
" Ton said that you would come never ^ain." 

" After to-night, never again," he answered. " But 
now, Audrey, this once again, this once again ! " 

Gazing past him she made a movement toward the 
door. He shook his head. " This is my hour, Au- 
drey. You may not leave the room, nor wiU Mistress 
St^g enter it. I will not touch you, I will come no 
nearer to you. Stand there in silence, if you choose, 
or cover the sight of me from your eyes, while for my 
own ease, my own unhappiness, I say farewell." 

" Farewell ! " she echoed. " Long ago, at Westover, 
(bat was said between you and me. . . . Why do you 
come like a ghost to keep me and peace apart?" 

He did not answer, and she locked her hands across 
her brow that burned beneath the heavy circlet of 
mock gems. " Is it kind ? " she demanded, with a sob 
in her voice. " Is it kind to trouble me so, to keep 
me here " — 

" Was I ever kind ? " he asked. " Since the night 
when I followed you, a child, and caught you from the 
ground when you fell between the com rows, what 
kindness, Audrey ? " 

" None ! " she answered, with eudclen passion. 
" Nor kindness then I Why went you not some other 
way ? " 



^oiizodbyGoogle 



394 AUDREY 

" Shall I tell you why I was there that night, — 
why I left my companions and came riding back to 
the cabin in the valley ? " 

She nncovered her eyes. " I thonght — I thought 
then — that you were sent " — 

He looked at her with strange compassion. " My 
own will sent me. . . = When, that snimy afternoon, 
we spurred from the valley toward the higher moun- 
tains, we left behind us a forest flower, a young girl 
of simple sweetness, with long dark hair, — like yours, 
Audrey. ... It was to pluck that flower that I de- 
serted the expedition, that I went back to the valley 
between the hills." 

Her eyes dilated, and her hands very slowly rose to 
press her temples, to make a shadow from which she 
might face the cup of trembling he was pouring for 
her. 

*^ Molly ! " she said, beneath her breath. 

He nodded. " Well, Death had gathered the flower. 
. . . Accident threw across my path a tinier blossom, 
a helpless child. Save you then, care for yon then, 
I must, or I had been not man, but monster. Did I 
care for you tenderly, Audrey ? Did I make you love 
me with all your childish heart ? Did I become to 
you father and mother and sister and fairy prince ? 
Then what were yon to me in those old days? A 
child fanciful and charming, too fine in all her mooda 
not to breed wonder, to give the feeling that Nature 
had placed in that mountain cabin a changeling of bar 
own, A child that one must regard with fondness 
and some pity, — what is called a dear child. More- 
over, a child whose life I had saved, and to whom it 
pleased me to play Providence. I was young, not 
bard of heart, sedulous to fold back to the uttermost 



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AMOE VINCIT 39B 

the roBeleaves of every delicate and poedo emotion, 
magDificently generona also, and set to play my life 
au grand s^neur. To myself assume a responsibil- 
ity which with all ease might have been transfeTred 
to an Orphan Court, to put my stamp upon your 
life to come, to wateh you kneel and drink of my 
fountain of generosity, to open my hand and with 
an indulgent smile shower down npon you the coin of 
pleasure and advantage, — why, what a tribute was 
this to my own sovereignty, what subtle flattery of 
self-love, what delicate taete of power 1 Well, I kissed 
you good-by, and unclasped your hands from my neck, 
chided you, laughed at you, fondled you, promised all 
manner of pretty things and engaged you never to 
foi^t me — and sailed away upon the Golden Rose 
to meet my crowded years with their wine and roses, 
upas shadows and apples of Sodom. How long be- 
fore I forgot you, Audrey ? A year and a day, per- 
haps. I protest that I cannot remember exactly." 

He slighdy changed his position, but came no nearer 
to her. It was growing quiet in the street beyond the 
curtained windows. One window was bare, but it 
gave only npon an unused nook of the garden where 
were merely the moonlight and some tall leafless 
bushes. 

" I came back to Virginia," he said, " and I looked 
for and fonnd you in the heart of a flowering wood. 
. . . All that you imagined me to be, Audrey, that 
was I not. Knightr«rrant, paladin, king among men, 
— what irony, child, in that strange dream and in- 
fatuation of thine ! I was — I am — of my time and 
of myself, and he whom that day you thought me had 
not ibeu nor afterwards form or being. I wish you 
to be perfect in this lesson, Audrey. Are you so ? " 



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396 AUDRET 

" Yea," she sighed. Her Iiande had fallen ; she 
waa looking at him with slowly parting lips, and ft 
strange expression in her eyes. 

He went on quietly as before, every feature con- 
troUed to impassivity and his arms lightly folded : 
" That is well. Between the day when I found you 
again and a night in the Palace yonder lies a summer, 
— a summer I To me all the summers that ever I 
had or will have, — ten thousand summers ! Now tell 
me how I did in this wonderful summer." 

" Ignobly," she answered. 

He bowed his head gravely. " Ay, Audrey, it is a 
good word." With a quick sigh he left his place, and 
Walking to the uncurtained window stood there look- 
ing out upon the strip of moonlight and the screen of 
boshes ; but when he tamed ^aiu to the room his 
face and bearing were as impressive as before in their 
fine, still gravity, their repose of determination. " And 
that evening by the river when you fled from me to 
Hugon " — 

" I had awaked," she said, in a low voice. " Tou 
were to me a stranger, and I feared you." 

" And at Westover? " 

*' A stranger.*' 

" Here in Williamshurgh, when by dint of much 
striving I saw yon, when I wrote to you, when at last 
you sent me that letter, that piteous and cruel letter, 
Audrey ? " 

For one moment her dark eyes met his, then fell to 
her clasped hands. " A stranger," she said. 

" The letter was many weeks ago. I have been 
alone with my thoughts at Fair View. And to-night, 
Audrey ? " 

" A stranger," she would have answered, but her 



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AMOR VINCIT 397 

voice broke. There were shadows under her eyes ; 
her lifted face had in it a strained, intent expectancy 
as though she saw or heard one coming. 

" A stranger," he acquiesced. *' A foreigner in 
your world of dreams and shadows. No prince, Au- 
drey, or great white knight and hero. Only a gentle- 
man of these latter days, compact like his fellows of 
strength and weakness ; now very wise and now the 
mere finger-post of folly ; set to travel his own path ; 
ahle to bear ahove him in the rarer air the trumpet 
call, but choosing to loiter on the lower slopes. In 
addition a man who lores at last, loves greatly, with 
a passion that shall ennoble. A stranger and your 
lover, Audrey, come to say farewelL" 

Her voice came like an echo, plaintive and clear 
and from far away : " Farewell." 

" How steadily do I stand here to say farewell I " 
he said. " Yet I am eaten of my passion. A fire 
hums me, a voice within me ever cries aloud. I am 
whirled in a resistless wind. . . . Ah, my love, the 
garden at Eair View I The folded rose that will 
never hloom, the dial where linger the heavy hours, 
the heavy, heavy, heavy hours I " 

" The garden," she whispered. *' I smell the box. 
. . . The path was all in sunshine. So quiet, so 
hushed. ... I went a little farther, and I heard your 
voice where yon sat and read — and read of Eloi'sa. 
. . . Oh, Evelyn, Evelyn ! " 

*' The last time — the last farewell I " he said. 
*' When the Golden Bose is far at sea, when the 
winds blow, when the stars drift below the vei^e, 
when the sea speaks, then may I forget you, may the 
vision of you pass I Now at Fair View it passes not ; 
it dwells. Night and day I behold you, the woman 
that I love, the woman that I love in vain I " 



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39S ADDBEY 

" The Golden Bose I " she answered. " The sea. 
. . . Alas I" 

Her voice had risen into a cry. The walls of tite 
room were gone, the ur pressed upon her heavily, the 
lights wavered, the waters were pasung over her as 
they had passed that night of the witch's hat. How 
far away the bank upon which he stood I He spoke 
to her, and his voice came faintly as from that distant 
shore or from the deck of a swiftly passing sbipi 
** AjiA so it is good-by, sweetheart ; for why should 
I stay in Virginia ? Ah, if yon loved me, Andrey ! 
But since it is not so — Good-by, good-by. This 
time I '11 not forget yon, but I will not come again. 
Good-by!" 

Her lips moved, but there came no words. A light 
had dawned upon her face, her hand was lifted as 
though to stay a sound of music. Suddenly she 
turned toward htm, swayed, and would have fallen but 
that his arm caught and upheld her. Her head was 
thrown back ; the soft masses of her wonderful hair 
brushed bis cheek and shoulder ; her eyes looked past 
him, and a smile, pure and exquisite past expression, 
jnst redeemed her face from sadness. " Good-morrow, 
Love I " she said clearly and sweetly. 

At the sound of her own words came to her the full 
realization aud understanding of herself. With a cry 
she freed herself from his supporting arm, stepped 
backward and looked at him. The color surged over 
her face and throat, her eyelids drooped ; while her 
name was yet upon his lips she answered with a 
broken cry of ecstasy and abandonment. A moment 
and she was in his arms aud their lips had met. 

How quiet it was in the long room, where the myr- 
tle candles gave out their faint perfume and the low 



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AMOR TINCIT 309 

fire leaped upon the hearth I TfauB for a time ; then, 
growing faint with her happiness, she pat up protest- 
ing bands. He made her sit in the great chair, and 
knelt before her, all youth and fire, handsome, ardent, 
transfigured by lis passion into such a lover as a 
qaeen might desire. 

" HmI, Sultana I " he said, smiling, his eyes upon 
her diadem. " Now you are Arpasia again, and I am 
Moneses, and ready, ah, most ready, to die for you." 

She also smiled. " Remember that I am to quickly 
follow you." 

" When shall we marry ? " he demanded. " The 
garden cries out for you, my love, and I wish to hear 
your footstep in my house. It hath been a dreary 
house, filled with shadows, haunted by keen longings 
and vain regrets. Now the windows shall be flung 
wide and the sunshine shall pour in. Oh, your voice 
singing through the rooms, your foot upon the stairs I " 
He took her hands and put them to his lips. " I love 
as men loved of old," he said. " I am far from 
myself and my times. When will you become my 
wife ? " 

She answered him simply, like the child that at 
times she seemed : " When you will. But I most be 
Ar^i^ia again to-morrow night. The Governor hath 
ordered the play repeated, and Mai^ry Linn could 
not learn my part in time." 

He laughed, fingering the red silk of her hanging 
sleeve, feasting his eyes upon her dark beauty, so 
heightened and deepened in the year that had passed. 
" Then play to them — and to me who shall watch you 
well — to-morrow night. But after that to them never 
i^ain ! only to me, Audrey, to me when we walk in 
the garden at home, ^en we tot in the book-room and 



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the candles are lighted. That day in May when &nt 
you oame into my garden, when first I showed yon my 
house, when first I rowed you home with the sunebine 
on the water and the roses in your hair I Love, love I 
do you remember ? *' 

" Bemember ? " she answered, in a thrilling voice. 
" When I am dead I shall yet remember I And I 
will come when you want me. After to-morrow night 
I will come. . . . Oh, cannot you hear the river? 
And the walls of the box will be freshly green, and 
the fruit-trees all in bloom I The white leaves drift 
down upon the bench beneath the cherry-tree. . . . 
I will sit in the gra^ at your feet. Oh, I love yoo, 
have loved you long I " 

They had risen and now with her head upon his 
breast and his arm about her, they stood in the heart 
of the soft radiance of many candles. His face was 
bowed upon the dark wonder of her bair ; when at 
last he lifted his eyes, they chanced to fall upon the 
one uncurtained window. Audrey, feeling his slight, 
quickly controlled start, turned within his arm and 
also saw the face of Jean Hugoa, pressed against the 
glass, staring in upon them. 

Before Haward could reach the window the face was 
gone. A strip of moonlight, some leafless bushes, be- 
yond, the blank wall of the theatre, — that was all. 
Raising the sash, Haward leaned forth uutil he could 
see the garden at large. Moonlight still and cold, 
winding paths, and shadows of tree and shrub and 
vine, but no sign of living creature. He closed the 
window and drew the curtain across, then turned again 
to Audrey. " A phantom of the night," he said, and 
laughed. 

She was standing in the centre of the room, with 



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AMOK VINCIT 401 

her red drees gleaming in the candlelight. Her brow 
beneath its mock crown had no lines of care, and her 
wonderful eyes smiled upon him. *' I have no fear of 
it," she answered. " That is strange, is it not, when 
I have feared it for so long ? I have no other fear to- 
night than that X shall outlive your lore for me." 

" I will love you until the stars fall," he said. 

" They are falling to-night When you are without 
the door look up, and yon may see one pass swiftly 
down the sky. Once I watched them from the dark 

" I will love you until the sun grows old," he said. 
'* Through life and death, through heaven or bell, past 
the heating of my heart, while lasts my soul! . . . 
Audrey, Audrey ! " 

" If it is Bo," she answered, " then all is well. Now 
kiss me good-night, for I hear Mistress Stagg's voice. 
You will come again to-morrow? And to-morrow 
night, — oh, to-morrow night I shall see only yon, 
think of only you while I play 1 Good-night, good- 
night." 

Tbey kissed and parted, and Haward, a happy man, 
went with raised face through the stillness and the 
moonlight to his lodging at Marol's ordinary. No 
phantoms of the night disturbed him. He had fonnd 
the philosopher's stone, had drunk of the divine elixir. 
Life was at last a thing much to be desired, and the 
Giver of life was good, and the sunanum bonvm wafl 
deathless love. 



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CHAPTER TTTTTr 

TECB LAST ACT 

Before eight of the clock, Mr. Sta^, peering from 
behind the curtain, noted with satisfaction that the 
house was filling rapidly ; upon the stroke of the hour 
it was crowded to the door, without which might be 
heard angry voices contending that there must be yet 
places for the buying. The musicians began to play 
and more candles were lighted. There were laughter, 
talk, greetings from one part of the hoose to another, 
as much movement to and fro as could be accomplished 
in so crowded a space. The manners of the London 
playhouses were aped not unsuccessfully. To com- 
pare small things with great, it might have been Drury 
Lane upon a gala night. If the building was rude, 
yet it bad no rival in the colonies, and if the audience 
was not so gay of hue, impertinent of tongue, or para- 
mount in fashion as its London counterpart, yet it was 
composed of the rulers and makers of a land destined 
to greatness. 

In the centre box sat his Excellency, William Gooch, 
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, r^plendent in velvet 
and gold lace, and beside him Colonel Alexander 
Spotswood, arrived in town from Germanna that day, 
with his heart much set upon the passage, by the 
Assembly, of an act which would advantage his iron 
woib. Colonel Byrd of Westover, Colonel Esmond 
of Castlewood, Colonel Carter, Colonel P^;e, and 



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THE LAST ACT 408 

Colonel Lndwell were likewise of the Grovemor's party, 
while seated or standing in the pit, or mingling with 
the ladies who made gay the boxes, were other gentle- 
men of consequence, — Councilors, Bai^sses, owners 
of vast tracts of land, of ships and many elaTes. Of 
their number some were traveled men, and some had 
fought in England's wais, and some had studied ia 
her universities. Many were of gentle blood, sprung 
from worthy and venerable houses in that green island 
which with fondness they still called home, and many 
had made for themselves name and fortune, hewing 
their way to honor through a primeval forest of adver- 
sities. Lesser personages were not lacking, but crowded 
the gallery and invaded the pit. Old fighters of In- 
dians were present, and masters of ships trading from 
the Spanish islands or from the ports of home. Rude 
lumbermen from Korf oik or the borders of the Dismal 
Swamp stared about them, while here and there showed 
the sad-colored coat of a minister, or the broad face <^ 
some Walloon from Spotswood's settlement on the 
Bapidan, or the keener countenances of Frenchmen 
from Monacan-Town. The armorer from the Maga- 
zine elbowed a great proprietor from the ^Eastern 
shore, while a famous guide and hunter, long and lean 
and brown, described to a magnate of Yorktown a 
buffalo capture in the far west, twenty leagues beyond 
the falls. Masters and scholars from William and 
Mary were there, with rangers, traders, sailors ashore, 
small planters, merchants, loquacious keepers of ordi- 
naries, and with men, now free and with a stake in the 
land, who had come there as indentured servants, or - 
as convicts, runaways, and fugitives from jt^tice. In 
the upper gallery, where no payment was exacted, 
many servants with a sprinkliog of favorite mulatto or 



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4M AUDREY 

mostee ^ves ; in the boxes the Inatre and sweep of ■ 
damask and brocade, light laughter, silvety voices, the 
flutter of fans ; everywhere the Tiridnesa and animft- 
tioB of a strangely compounded society, where the 
shadows were de^ and the lights weie high. 

Nor did the conversation of so motley an assem- 
blage lack a certain pictorial quality, a somewhat 
faDtasttc opulence of reference and allusion. Of what 
might its members speak while they waited for the 
drawing aside of the piece of baize which hung be- 
tween them and an Oriental camp ? There was the 
staple of their wealth, a broad-leafed plant, the smoke 
of whose far-spread burning might have wrapped its 
native fields in a perpetual haze as of Indian summer ; 
and there was the warfare, bequeathed from genera- 
tion to generation,, agfunst the standing armies of the 
forest, that subtle foe that slept not, retreated not, 
whose vanguard, ever falling, ever showed unbroken 
ranks beyond. Trapper and trader and ranger might 
tell of trails through the wilderness vast and hostile, 
of canoes upon unknown waters, of beasts of prey, 
creatures screaming in the night-time through the 
ebony woods. Of Indian villageB, also, and of red 
men who, in the fastnesses that were left them, took 
and tortured and slew after strange fashions. The 
white man, strong as the wind, drove the red man 
before his face like an autumn leaf, but he beok<med 
to the black man, and the black man came at his oalL 
He came in numbers from a far country, and the man- 
ner of his coming was in chains. What he had to 
sell was valuable, but the purchase price came not 
into bis ^lands. Of him also mention was made to- 
night. The master of the tall ship tliat had broaght 
him into the James or the York, the dealer to whom 



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THE LAST ACT 40S 

he was consigned, the officer of the Crown who had 
cried him for sale, the planter who had bought him, 
the divine who preached that he was of a race ac- 
cursed, — all were there, and all had interest in this 
merchandise. Others in the throng talked of ships 
both great and smaU, and the qiuuntness of their 
names, the golden flowers and golden women, thb 
swift birds and beasts, the namesakes of Fortune or 
of Providence, came pleasantly upon the ear. The 
still-vexed Bermoothes, Barbadoes, and all the Indies 
were spoken of; ports to the north and ports to the 
south, pirate craft and sunken treasure, a flight, a 
fight, a chase at sea. Thelnen from Norfolk talked 
of the great Dismal and its trees of juniper and cy- 
press, the traders of trading, the masters from William 
and Mary of the humanities. The greater men, au- 
thoritative and easy, owners of flesh and blood and 
much laud, holders of many offices and leaders of the 
people, paid their respects to horae-racing and ooek- 
flghting, cards and dice ; to building, planting, the 
genteelest.mode of living, and to public affairs both 
in Virginia and at home in England. Old friends, 
with oaths of hearty affection, and from opposite quar- 
ters of the bouse, addressed each other as Tom, or 
Ned, or Dick, while old enemies, finding themselves 
side by side, exchanged extremely civil speeches, and 
so put a keener edge upon their mutual di^ust. In 
the boxes where glowed the women there was comfit 
talk, vastly pretty speeches, asseverations, denials, 
windy sighs, the politest oaths, whispering, talk of the 
play, and, last but not least, of Mr. Haward of Fur 
View, and Darden's Audrey. 

Haward, entering the pit, made his way quietly to 
where a servant was holdii^ for him a place. The 



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fellow polled Iub forelock in response to his master's 
nod, then shouldered his way through the press to the 
ladder-like stairs that led to the upper gdlery. Ho- 
ward, standing at his ease, looked about him, recog- 
nizing this or that acquaintance with his slow, fine 
smile and an inclination of his head. He was mnoli 
dhserved, and presently a lady leaned from her box, 
smiled, waved ber fan, and slightly beckoned to him. 
It was young Madam Byrd, and Evelyn sat beside 
her. 

Five minutes later, as Haward entered the box of 
the ladies of Westover, music sounded, the curtiun 
was drawn hack, and the^lay began. Upon the ruder 
sort in the audience silence fell at once : they that 
followed the sea, and they that followed the woods, 
and all the simple folk ceased their noise and gestioa- 
lation, and gazed spellbound at the pomp before them 
of rude scenery and indifferent actors. Bat the great 
ones of the earth talked on, attending to their own 
bosineas in the face of Tamerlane and his victorions 
force. It was the fashion to do so, and in the play 
to-night the first act counted nothing, for Darden's 
Audrey had naught to do with it. In the second act, 
when she entered as Arpasia, the entire house would 
fall quiet, staring and holding its breath. 

Haward bent over Madam Byrd's hand ; then, as 
that lady turned from him to greet Mr. Lee, addressed 
himself with grave courtesy to Evelyn, clothed in paid 
blue, and more lovely even than her wont. For 
months they had not met. She had written him one 
letter, — bad written the night of the day upon which 
she had encountered Audrey in the Palace walk, — 
and be had answered it with a broken line of pae^on- 
ato thanks for unmerited kindness. Nov as he beat 



lartizodbyGoOgle 



THE LAST ACT 407 

over her abe canght his wrist lightly with her hand, and 
her touch burned him through the lace of his rufflea. 
With her other hand she spread her fan ; Mr. Lee's 
shoulder knot also screened them while Mr. Grrymes 
had engaged its owner's attention, and pretty Madam 
Byrd was in animated conversation with the oooupants 
of a neighboring box. " Is it well ? " asked Evelyn, 
very low. 

Haward's answer was aa low, and bravely spoken 
with his eyes meeting her dear gaze, and her touch 
upon his vmst. " For me, Evelyn, it is veiy veil," he 
said. " For her — may I live to make it well for her, 
forever and a day well for her I She b to be my 
wife." 

" I am glad," said Evelyn, — " very glad." 

"You toe a noble lady," he answered. "Once, 
long ago, I styled myself your friend, your equal. 
Now I know better my place and yours, and aa from 
8 princess I take your alms. For your letter — that 
letter, Evelyn, which told me what you thought, 
which showed me what to do — I humbly thank 
you." 

' She let fall her hand from her silken lap, and 
watched with unseeing eyes the mimicry of life upon 
the stage before them, where Selima knelt to Tamer- 
lane, and Moneses mourned for Arpasia. Presently 
she said again, " I am glad ; " and then, when they 
had kept silence for a while, " You will live at Fair 
View ? " 

" Ay," he replied. " I will make it well for her 
here in Virginia." 

" You must let me help yon," she said. " So old a 
friend as I may claim that as a right. To-morrow I 
may visit her, may I not ? Now we most look at the 



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408 ADDKET 

players. When she enters there is bo need to cry iat 
silence. It comes of itself, and stays ; we watch her 
with straining eyes. Who is that man in a cloak, 
staring at us from the pit ? See, with the great peruke 
and the scar I " 

Haward, bending, looked over the rail, then drew 
back with a smile. " A half-breed trader," he stud, 
" by name Jean Hugon. Something of a character." 

" He looked strangely at us," said Evelyn, ** with 
how haggard a face I My scarf, Mr. Lee ? Thank 
you. Madam, have you the right of the matter from 
Kitty Page ? " 

The conversation became general, and soon, the act 
approaching its end, and other gentlemen pressing 
into the box which held bo beautiful a woman, so 
great a catch, and so assured a belle as Mistress 
Evelyn Byrd, Haward arose and took his leave. To 
others of the brilliant company assembled in the play- 
house he paid his respects, speaking deferentially to 
the Governor, gayly to his fellow Councilors and 
planters, and bowing low to many ladies. All this 
v&B in the interval between the acts. At the second 
parting of the curt^n he resumed his former station 
in the pit. With intention he had chosen a section of 
it where were few of his own cla^. IVom the midst 
of the ruder sort he could watch her more freely, could 
exult at his ease in her beauty both of face and mind. 

The curtains parted, and the fiddlers strove for war^ 
like music. Tamerlane, surrounded by the Tartar 
host, received his prisoners, and the defiant rant of 
Bajazet shook the rafters. All the sound and fnry of 
the stage could not drown the noise of the audience. 
Idle talk and laughter, lond comment upon the players, 
went on, — went on until there entered Darden's 



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THE LAST ACT 409 

Aadrey, dressed in red silk, with a jeweled circlet like 
a line o( flame about her dark flowing hair. The 
noise sank, voices of men and women died away ; for 
a moment the rustle of silk, the flntter of fans, con- 
tinued, then this also ceased. 

She stood before the Sultan, wide-eyed, with a smile 
of scorn upon her lips ; then spoke in a voice, low, 
grave, monotonous, charged like a passing hell with 
warning and with solemn woe. The house seemed to 
grow more still ; the playgoers, box and pit and gal- 
lery, leaned slightly forward ; whether she spoke or 
moved or stood in c^enoe, Darden's Audrey, that bad 
been a thing of naught, now held every eye, was r^- 
nant for an hour in this epitome of the world. The 
scene went on, and now it was to Moneses that she 
spoke. All the bliss and anguish of unhappy love 
sounded in her voice, dwelt in her eye and most exqui- 
site smile, huDg upon her every gesture. The curtains 
dosed ; from the throng that had watched her came 
a sound like a sigh, after which, slowly, tongues were 
loosened. An interval of impatient waiting, then the 
music again and the parting curtains, and Darden's 
Audrey, — the ^rl who could so paint very love, very 
sorrow, veiy death ; the girl who had come strangely 
and by a devious path from the height and loneliness 
of the mountains to the level of this stage and the 
watching throng. 

At tiie dose of the fourth act of the play, Haward 
left his station in the pit, and quietly made his way to 
the regions behind the curtain, where in the very cir. 
oumscribed space that served as greenroom to the 
Williamsbnrgh theatre he found Tamerlane, Bajazet, 
and their satellites, together with a number of gentle> 
men invaders from the front of the house. Mistress 



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410 AUDBET 

Stagg was there, and Selima, perched upon a table, 
was laughing with the aforesaid gentlemen, bat no 
Aipasia. Havard drew the elder woman aside. " I 
wbh to see her," he said, in a low voioe, kindly but 
imperious. " A moment only, good woman," 

With her finger at her lips Mistress Stag^ glanced 
about her. " She hides from them always, she 's that 
strange a child; though indeed, sir, as sweet a young 
lady as a prinoe might wed I This way, sir, — it 'b 
dark ; m^e no noise." 

She led him through a dim pass^eway, and softly 
opened a door. "There, sir, for just five minutes! 
I '11 call her in time." 

The door gave upon the garden, and Audrey sat 
upon the step in the moonshine and the stUlness. Her 
hand propped her ohin, and her eyes were rused to 
the few silver stars. That mock crown which she wore 
sparkled palely, and the light lay in the folds of her 
silken dress. At the opening of the door she did not 
tarn, thinking that Mistress Stagg stood behind her. 
" How bright the moon shines ! " she said. " A mock- 
ingbird should he singing, singing I Is it time for 
Arpasia?" 

As she rose from the step Haward caught her in his 
arms. *' It is I, my love I Ah, heart's desire ! I wor- 
ship you who gleam in the moonlight, with your crown 
like an aureole " — 

Audrey rested gainst him, clasping her hands upon 
his shouUer. " There were nights like this," she said 
dreamily. " If I were a little child agun, you could 
lift me in your arms and carry me home. I am tired. 
... I would that I needed not to go back to the glare 
and noise. The moon shines so bright ! I have been 
thinking " — 



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THE LAST ACT 411 

He bent his head and kissed her twice. "Poor 
Arpasia ! Poor tired child I Soon we shall go home, 
Audrey, — we two, my love, we two I " 

" I have been thinking, sitting here in the moon- 
light," she went on, her hands clasped upon his 
shoulder, and her cheek resting on them. " I was so 
ignorant. I never dreamed that I could wrong her 
. . . and when I awoke it was too late. And now I 
love you, — not the dream, but you. I know not what 
is right or wrong ; I know only that I love. I think 
she understands — forgives. I love you so I " Her 
hands parted, and she stood from him with her face 
raised to the balm of the night. " I love you so," she 
repeated, and the low«cadence of her langh broke the 
silver stillness of the garden. " The moon up there, 
she knows it. And the stars, — not one has fallen to- 
night! Smell the flowers. Wait, I will pluok you 
hyacinths." 

They grew by the doorstep, and she broke the slen- 
der stalks and gave them into his hand. But when he 
had kissed them he would g^ve them back, would fasten 
them himself in the folds of silk, that rose and fell 
with her quickened breathing. He fastened them with 
a brooob which he took from the Mechlin at his throat. 
It was the golden horseshoe, the token that he bad 
journeyed to the Endless Mountains. 

"Now I must go," said Audrey. "They are calling 
for Arpasia. Follow me not at once. Good-night, 
good-night ] Ah, I love you so ! Remember always 
that I love you so I " 

She was gone. In a few minutes he also reentered 
the playhouse, and went to his former place where, 
with none of his kind about him, he might watch her 
undisturbed. As he made his way with some diffi< 



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culty through the throng, he was aware that he bmshed 
gainst a man in a great peruke, who, despite the heat 
of the house, was wrapped iu an old roquelanre taw- 
drily laced ; also that ^e man was keeping stealthy 
pace with him, and that when he at last reached bis 
station the cloaked figure fell into place immediately 
behind him. 

Haward shrugged his shoulders, hut would not turn 
bis head, and thereby grant recognition to Jean Hu- 
gon, the trader. Did he bo, the half-breed might break 
into speech, provoke a quarrel, make God knew what 
assertion, what disturbance. To-morrow steps should 
be taken — Ah, the curtain I 

The silence deepened, and men and women leaned 
forward holding their breath. Dardeu's Audrey, 
robed and crowned as Arpaaia, sat alone in the Sol- 
tau's tent, staring before her with wide dark eyes, 
then slowly rising began to speak. A sound, a sigh as 
of wonder, ran from the one to the other of the throng 
that watched her. Why did she look thus, with con- 
tracted brows, toward one quarter of the bouse ? What 
inarticulate words was she uttering ? What gesture, 
quickly controlled, did she make of ghastly fear and 
warning 7 And now the familiar words came halting 
from her lips : — 

" '.SuTS 't is a honor, more than darkneu brings, 
That ata upon t^e night I ' " 

With the closing words of her speech the audience 
burst into a great storm of applause. 'Gad I how she 
acta I But what now? Why, what is this ? 

It was quite in nature and the mode for an actress 
to pause in the middle of a scene to curtsy thanks for 
generous applause, to smile and throw a mocking kiss 
to ^t and boxes, but Darden's Audrey had hitherto 



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THE LAST ACT 4X3 

&ot followed the fashion. Also it was not uncoetom- 
ary for some spoiled favorite of a player to trip down, 
between her scenes, the step or two from the stage to 
the pit, and mingle with the gallants there, laugh, jest, 
accept languishing glances, audacious compadsons, and 
such weighty trifles as gilt snuffboxes and rings of 
price. But this player had not heretofore honored 
the custom ; moreover, at present she was needed upon 
the stage. Bajazet must thunder and she defy; with- 
out her the play could not move, aud indeed the actors 
were now staring with the audience. What was it? 
Why had she crossed the stage, and, slowly, smilingly, 
beautiful and stately in her gleaming robes, descended 
those few steps which led to the pit ? What had she 
to do there, throwing smiling glances to iight%nd left, 
lightly waving the folk, gentle and simple, from her 
path, pressing steadily onward to some unguessed-at 
goal. As though held by a spell they watched her, 
one and all, — Haward, Evelyn, the Governor, the 
man in the cloak, every soul in that motley assemblage. 
The wonder had not time to dull, for the moments 
were few between her final leave-taking of those 
boards which she had trodden supreme and the crash- 
ing and terrible chord whloh was to close the enter- 
tainment of this night. 

Her face was raised to the boxes, and it seemed as 
though her dark eyes sought one there. Then, sud- 
denly, she swerved. There were men between her 
and Haward. She raised her hand, and they fell 
back, making for her a path. Haward, bewildered, 
started iorvBid, but her cry was not to him. It was 
to the figure just behind him, — the cloaked figure 
whose hand grasped the hunting-knife which from 
the st^^, as she had looked to where stood her lover. 



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414 AUDREY 

she had seen or dmoed. " Jean I Jean Hngon I " 
she cried. 

Involuntarily the trader pushed toward her, past 
ihe man whom he meant to stab to the heart. The 
action, dragging his cloak aside, showed the half-r^sed 
arm and the gleaming steel. For many minnteB the 
knife had heen ready. The play was nearly over, and 
she must see this man who had stolen her heart, this 
Haward of Fair View, die. Else Jean Hugon's ven- 
geance were not complete. For his own safety the 
maddened half-breed had ceased to care. No warning 
cried from the stage could have done aught hut pre- 
cipitate the deed, but now for the moment, amazed 
and doubtful, he turned his back upon his prey. 

lu thit moment the Audrey of the woods, a crea- 
ture lithe and agile and strong of wrist as of will, had 
thrown herself upon him, clutching the hand that held 
the knife. He strove to dash her from him, but in 
vain ; the house was in an uproar ; and now Haward's 
hands were at his throat, Haward's voice was crying 
to that fair devil, that Audrey for whom be had built 
his house, who was balking him of revenge, whose 
body was between him and his enemy 1 Suddenly he 
was all savage ; as upon a night in Fair View house 
he had cast off the trammels of his white blood, so 
now. An access of furious strength came to him ,* he 
shook himself free ; the knife gleamed in the air, de> 
Bcended. . . . He drew it from die bosom into which 
he had plunged it, and as Haward caught her in his 
arms, who would else have sunk to the floor, the halt- 
brecd burst through the horror-stricken throng, bran- 
dishing the red blade and loudly speaking in the 
tongue of the Monaoans. Like a whirlwind he was 
gone from the house, and for a time none tihcH^^ht to 
follow him. 



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"JEAN! JEAN HUGONI" 



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THE LAST ACT 415 

They bore her into the small white houBe, and ap 
the stair to her own room, and laid her upon the bed. 
Dr. Contesse came and went away, and came again. 
There was a crowd in Palace Street before the theatre. 
A man monnticg the doorstep so that he might be 
heard of all, said clearly, " She may live until dawn, 
— no longer." Later, one came out of the house and 
asked that there might be quiet. The crowd melted 
away, but throughout the mild night, filled with the 
soft airs and thousand odors of the spring, people 
stayed about the place, standing silent in the street 
or sitting on the garden benches. 

In the room upstairs lay Darden's Audrey, with 
crossed hands and head put slightly back. She lay 
still, upon the edge of death, nor seemed to care that 
it was so. Her eyes were closed, and at intervals oae 
Bitting at the bed head laid touch upon her pulse, or 
held before her lips a slight ringlet of her hair. Maiy 
St^^ sat by the window and wept, but Haward, kneel- 
ing, hid his face in the covering of the bed. The form 
npoB it was not more still than be ; Mistress Sta^, 
also, stifled her sobs, tor it seemed not a place for load 
grief. 

In the room foelow, amidst the tinsel frippery of 
small wares, wmted others whose lives had touched 
the life that was ebbing away. Now and then one 
spoke in a hushed voice, a window was raised, a ser- 
vant bringing in fresh candles trod too heavily ; then 
the quiet dosed in ^^n. Late in the night came 
through the open windows a distant clamor, and pre- 
sently a man ran down Palace Street, and as he ran 
called aloud some tidings. Macliean, standing near 
the door, went softly out. When he returned. Colonel 
Byrd, aittiiig at tiie table, lifted inquiring brows. 



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416 AUDRET 

" The; took him in the reeds near the Capitol land- 
ing," said the Highlander grimly. '* He 'b in the 
gad DOW, bnt whether the people will leave him 
there " — 
' The night wore on, grew old, passed into the oold 
melancholy of its latest honr. Daiden's Audrey 
Bighed and stirred, and a little strength coming to 
her parting spirit, she opened her eyes and loosed her 
hands. The physician held to her lips the cordial, 
' and she dranb a very little. Haward lifted his head, 
and as Contesse passed him to set down the cup, 
caught him by the sleeve. The other looked pityingly 
at the man into whose face had come a flush of hope. 
" 'T is hut the last flickering of the fiame," he said. 
" Soon even the spark will vanish." 

Aadrey began to speak. At first her words were 
wild and wandering, but, the mist lifting somewhat, 
she presently knew Mistress Stagg, and liked to have 
her take the doctor's place beside her. At Haward 
she looked doubtfully, with wide eyes, as scarce under- 
standing. When he called her name she faintly shook 
her head, then turned it slightly from him and veiled 
her eyes. It came to him with a terrible pang that 
the memory of their latest meetings was wiped from 
her brain, and that she was afraid of his broken words 
and the tears upon her hand. 

When she spoke again it was to ask for the minister. 
He was below, and Mistress Stagg went weeping down 
(he stairs to summon him. He came, but would not 
touch the girl ; only stood, with his hat in his hand, 
and looked down upon her with bleared eyes and a 
heavy countenance. 

" I am to die, am I not ? " she asked, with her gaze 
upon him. 



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THE LAST ACT 417 

** That is as God wills, Audrey," ho answered. 

" I am not afraid to die." 

" You have no need," be said, and going oat of the 
room and down the stairs, made Stagg pour for him a 
glass of aqua vitie. 

Audrey closed her eyes, and when she opened them 
again there seemed to be many persons in the room. 
One was bending over her whom at first she thought 
was MoUy, but soon she saw more clearly, and smiled 
at the pale and sorrowful face. The lady bent lower 
yet, and kissed her on the forehead. " Audrey," she 
saJd, and Audrey looking up at her answered, " Eve- 
lyn." 

When the dawn came glimmering in the windows, 
when the mist was cold and the birds were faintly 
heard, they raised her upon her pillows, and wiped the 
death dew from her forehead. "Audrey, Audrey, 
Audrey ! " cried Haward, and caught at her hands. 

She looked at him with a fiunt and doubtful smile, 
remembering nothing of that hour in the room below, 
of those minutes in the moonlit garden. "Gather the 
rosebuds while ye may," she said ; and then, " The 
house is large. Good giant, eat me not ! " 

The num upon his knees beside her uttered a cry, 
4nd began to speak to her, thickly, rapidly, words of 
agony, entreaty, and love. To-morrow and for all life 
luibit would resume its sway, and lost love, remorse, 
and vain regrets put on a mash that was cold and 
fine and able to deceive. To-night there spoke the 
awakened heart With her hands cold in his, with 
his agonized gaze upon the face from which the light 
was slowly passing, he poured forth his passion and his 
anguish, and she listened not. They moistened her 
lips, and one opened wide the window that gave upon 



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AUDREY 



the east. " It was a^ a dream," sbe said ; and again, 
*' All a dream." A little later, while the sky flushed 
alowly and the light of the candles grew pale, she 
began suddenly, and in a Btronger voice, to speak as 
Arpasia: — 



" Forgotten 1 " cried Ha ward. " Audrey, Audrey, 
Audrey! Gt» not from me I Oh, love, love, stay 
awhile I " 

" The mountains," said Audrey clearly. " The sun 
upon them and the lifting mist." 

" The mountains I " he cried. " Ay, we will go to 
them, Audrey, we will go together ! Why, you are 
stronger, sweetheart ! There is strength in your voice 
and your hands, and a light in your eyes. Oh, if you 
will live, Audrey, I will make you happy ! You shall 
take me to the mountains — we will go together, you 
and 1 1 Audrey, Audrey " — 

But Audrey was gone already. 



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